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Isaiah 49-50New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Servant’s Mission

49 Listen to me, O coastlands,
    pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
    while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
    in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
    in his quiver he hid me away.
And he said to me, “You are my servant,
    Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain,
    I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
    and my reward with my God.”

And now the Lord says,
    who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
    and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
    and my God has become my strength—
he says,
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
    to raise up the tribes of Jacob
    and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
    that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord,
    the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
    the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up,
    princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Zion’s Children to Be Brought Home

Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favor I have answered you,
    on a day of salvation I have helped you;
I have kept you and given you
    as a covenant to the people,[a]
to establish the land,
    to apportion the desolate heritages;
saying to the prisoners, “Come out,”
    to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.”
They shall feed along the ways,
    on all the bare heights[b] shall be their pasture;
10 they shall not hunger or thirst,
    neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down,
for he who has pity on them will lead them,
    and by springs of water will guide them.
11 And I will turn all my mountains into a road,
    and my highways shall be raised up.
12 Lo, these shall come from far away,
    and lo, these from the north and from the west,
    and these from the land of Syene.[c]

13 Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
    break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
    and will have compassion on his suffering ones.

14 But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,
    my Lord has forgotten me.”
15 Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
    yet I will not forget you.
16 See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
    your walls are continually before me.
17 Your builders outdo your destroyers,[d]
    and those who laid you waste go away from you.
18 Lift up your eyes all around and see;
    they all gather, they come to you.
As I live, says the Lord,
    you shall put all of them on like an ornament,
    and like a bride you shall bind them on.

19 Surely your waste and your desolate places
    and your devastated land—
surely now you will be too crowded for your inhabitants,
    and those who swallowed you up will be far away.
20 The children born in the time of your bereavement
    will yet say in your hearing:
“The place is too crowded for me;
    make room for me to settle.”
21 Then you will say in your heart,
    “Who has borne me these?
I was bereaved and barren,
    exiled and put away—
    so who has reared these?
I was left all alone—
    where then have these come from?”

22 Thus says the Lord God:
I will soon lift up my hand to the nations,
    and raise my signal to the peoples;
and they shall bring your sons in their bosom,
    and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
23 Kings shall be your foster fathers,
    and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
    and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the Lord;
    those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.

24 Can the prey be taken from the mighty,
    or the captives of a tyrant[e] be rescued?
25 But thus says the Lord:
Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken,
    and the prey of the tyrant be rescued;
for I will contend with those who contend with you,
    and I will save your children.
26 I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
    and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
    that I am the Lord your Savior,
    and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

50 Thus says the Lord:
Where is your mother’s bill of divorce
    with which I put her away?
Or which of my creditors is it
    to whom I have sold you?
No, because of your sins you were sold,
    and for your transgressions your mother was put away.
Why was no one there when I came?
    Why did no one answer when I called?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
    Or have I no power to deliver?
By my rebuke I dry up the sea,
    I make the rivers a desert;
their fish stink for lack of water,
    and die of thirst.[f]
I clothe the heavens with blackness,
    and make sackcloth their covering.

The Servant’s Humiliation and Vindication

The Lord God has given me
    the tongue of a teacher,[g]
that I may know how to sustain
    the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens—
    wakens my ear
    to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear,
    and I was not rebellious,
    I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
    and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
    from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me;
    therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
    and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
    he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
    Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
    Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me;
    who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment;
    the moth will eat them up.

10 Who among you fears the Lord
    and obeys the voice of his servant,
who walks in darkness
    and has no light,
yet trusts in the name of the Lord
    and relies upon his God?
11 But all of you are kindlers of fire,
    lighters of firebrands.[h]
Walk in the flame of your fire,
    and among the brands that you have kindled!
This is what you shall have from my hand:
    you shall lie down in torment.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 49:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Isaiah 49:9 Or the trails
  3. Isaiah 49:12 Q Ms: MT Sinim
  4. Isaiah 49:17 Or Your children come swiftly; your destroyers
  5. Isaiah 49:24 Q Ms Syr Vg: MT of a righteous person
  6. Isaiah 50:2 Or die on the thirsty ground
  7. Isaiah 50:4 Cn: Heb of those who are taught
  8. Isaiah 50:11 Syr: Heb you gird yourselves with firebrands
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Sirach 4:1-19New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Duties toward the Poor and the Oppressed

My child, do not cheat the poor of their living,
    and do not keep needy eyes waiting.
Do not grieve the hungry,
    or anger one in need.
Do not add to the troubles of the desperate,
    or delay giving to the needy.
Do not reject a suppliant in distress,
    or turn your face away from the poor.
Do not avert your eye from the needy,
    and give no one reason to curse you;
for if in bitterness of soul some should curse you,
    their Creator will hear their prayer.

Endear yourself to the congregation;
    bow your head low to the great.
Give a hearing to the poor,
    and return their greeting politely.
Rescue the oppressed from the oppressor;
    and do not be hesitant in giving a verdict.
10 Be a father to orphans,
    and be like a husband to their mother;
you will then be like a son of the Most High,
    and he will love you more than does your mother.

The Rewards of Wisdom

11 Wisdom teaches[a] her children
    and gives help to those who seek her.
12 Whoever loves her loves life,
    and those who seek her from early morning are filled with joy.
13 Whoever holds her fast inherits glory,
    and the Lord blesses the place she[b] enters.
14 Those who serve her minister to the Holy One;
    the Lord loves those who love her.
15 Those who obey her will judge the nations,
    and all who listen to her will live secure.
16 If they remain faithful, they will inherit her;
    their descendants will also obtain her.
17 For at first she will walk with them on tortuous paths;
    she will bring fear and dread upon them,
and will torment them by her discipline
    until she trusts them,[c]
and she will test them with her ordinances.
18 Then she will come straight back to them again and gladden them,
    and will reveal her secrets to them.
19 If they go astray she will forsake them,
    and hand them over to their ruin.

Footnotes:

  1. Sirach 4:11 Heb Syr: Gk exalts
  2. Sirach 4:13 Or he
  3. Sirach 4:17 Or until they remain faithful in their heart
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 6New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

The Peril of Falling Away

Therefore let us go on toward perfection,[a] leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do[b] this, if God permits. For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake[c] in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, 12 so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[d] having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16 Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. 17 In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 6:1 Or toward maturity
  2. Hebrews 6:3 Other ancient authorities read let us do
  3. Hebrews 6:10 Gk for his name
  4. Hebrews 6:15 Gk he
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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