FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT – First Reading: Isaiah 64:1-9

Oh, that you would burst from the heavens and come down!  How the mountains would quake in your presence!  2As fire causes wood to burn and water to boil, your coming would make the nations tremble.  Then your enemies would learn the reason for your fame!  3When you came down long ago, you did awesome things beyond our highest expectations.  And oh, how the moun-tains quaked!  4For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!  5You welcome those who cheerfully do good, who follow godly ways.  But we are not godly.  We are constant sinners, so your anger is heavy on us.  How can people like us be saved?  6We are all infected and impure with sin.  When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags.  Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall.  And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.  7Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy.  Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.  8And yet, LORD, you are our Father.  We are the clay, and you are the potter.  We are all formed by your hand.  9Oh, don’t be so angry with us, LORD.  Please don’t remember our sins forever.  Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people.