Readings: Saturday, December 19, 2015

First Reading

First Reading: Jdg 3:2-7, 24-25

There was a certain man from Zorah, of the clan of the Danites,
whose name was Manoah. His wife was barren and had borne
no children. An angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and
said to her, “Though you are barren and have had no children,
yet you will conceive and bear a son. Now, then, be careful to
take no wine or strong drink and to eat nothing unclean. As for
the son you will conceive and bear, no razor shall touch his
head, for this boy is to be consecrated to God from the womb.
It is he who will begin the deliverance of Israel from the power
of the Philistines.”

The woman went and told her husband, “A man of God
came to me; he had the appearance of an angel of God, terrible
indeed. I did not ask him where he came from, nor did he tell
me his name. But he said to me, ‘You will be with child and
will bear a son. So take neither wine nor strong drink, and eat
nothing unclean. For the boy shall be consecrated to God from
the womb, until the day of his death.’”
The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy
grew up and the LORD blessed him; the Spirit of the LORD stirred

Responsorial Psalm

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 71:3-4,5-6,16-17

R./ My mouth shall be filled with your praise, 
       and I will sing your glory!

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R./ My mouth shall be filled with your praise, 
       and I will sing your glory!

For you are my hope, O LORD;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother’s womb you are my strength.
R./ My mouth shall be filled with your praise, 
       and I will sing your glory!

I will treat of the mighty works of the LORD;
O God, I will tell of your singular justice.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R./ My mouth shall be filled with your praise, 
       and I will sing your glory!

Holy Gospel

Gospel Reading: Lk 1:5-25

In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named
Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was
from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But
they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both
were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn
before God, according to the practice of the priestly service,
he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn
incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was
praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel
of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar
of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear
came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will
bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will
have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for
he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither
wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit
even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the
children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him
in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers
toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of
the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”
Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this?
For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And
the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before
God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this
good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk
until the day these things take place, because you did not believe
my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were
amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he
came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized
that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to
them but remained mute.