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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Prophets

A Strong City Have We

Submitted by on Thursday, 4 December 2008No Comment
  • Reading I: Isaiah 26:1-6
  • Resp. Psalm: Psalm 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 7:21,24-27

A city in ruins especially when it has recently fallen is not an edifying site.  The selection from Isaiah is best understood upon the backdrop of a recently fallen Moab — imagined as yet — with squatters — those who cannot formerly have their place in the city’s more respectable districts — taking their places in those areas that have been rendered uninhabitable for the respectable gentry.  Isaiah sees this vision of the ruined rival of Judah and announces the victory song that will be sung in that future that only Yahweh knows.  The command to open up the gates and let in a righteous nation would seem to depict a victory procession that enters a city.  Perhaps it envisions a triumphant Jewish army — the host of Yahweh — entering the portals of its own city to receive the applause of the crowds.  The responsorial psalm used for this day’s liturgy is normally associated in the gospels with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  Catholics use it for the celebrations of Easter.

The theme of the proud to be humbled and the lowly to trample the mighty will become a constant theme in the Gospel of Luke, the pages of which will proclaim the inversion of the destinies of the rich and mighty on the one hand and the poor and the lowly on the other.  The gospel reading from Matthew highlights the idea that those who have faith and act upon the words of Jesus will be a city that never gets destroyed.


Isaiah 26:1-6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1In that day shall this canticle be sung the land of Juda. Sion the city of our strength a saviour, a wall and a bulwark shall be set therein.
2Open ye the gates, and let the just nation, that keepeth the truth, enter in.
3The old error is passed away: thou wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee.
4You have hoped in the Lord for evermore, in the Lord God mighty for ever.
5For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground, he shall pull it down even to the dust.
6The foot shall tread it down, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.
Psalm 118:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Give praise to Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Matthew 7:21,24-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
21Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock,
25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.
26And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand,
27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof.

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