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(Cp Lk 3:4–6)
40 Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
but the word of our God will stand forever.
O Zion, herald of good tidings;a
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,b
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.
and marked off the heavens with a span,
enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure,
and weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?
or as his counselor has instructed him?
and who taught him the path of justice?
Who taught him knowledge,
and showed him the way of understanding?
and are accounted as dust on the scales;
see, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering.
they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.
or what likeness compare with him?
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold,
and casts for it silver chains.
20 As a gift one chooses mulberry woodc
—wood that will not rot—
then seeks out a skilled artisan
to set up an image that will not topple.
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to live in;
and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing.
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows upon them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
or who is my equal? says the Holy One.
Who created these?
He who brings out their host and numbers them,
calling them all by name;
because he is great in strength,
mighty in power,
not one is missing.
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
and strengthens the powerless.
and the young will fall exhausted;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
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