The 18th Day of Advent.
Beware the envoys from Babylon!
At that time King Merodach-baladan son of Baladan of Babylon sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. Hezekiah welcomed them; he showed them his treasure-house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armoury, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and said to him, ‘What did these men say? From where did they come to you?’ Hezekiah answered, ‘They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.’ He said, ‘What have they seen in your house?’ Hezekiah answered, ‘They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.’
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. Some of your own sons who are born to you shall be taken away; they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, ‘There will be peace and security in my days.’
Gaudete: Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born out of the Virgin Mary—rejoice!
who at your Son’s first coming sent your messenger
to prepare the way before him:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready his way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at his second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in his sight;
for he is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.