March 29, 2020
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 49:1-13
Listen to me, you islands. Pay attention, you people far away. Before I was born, the Lord chose me. While I was in my mother’s womb, he recorded my name. He made my tongue like a sharp sword and hid me in the palm of his hand. He made me like a sharpened arrow and hid me in his quiver.
He said to me, “You are my servant Israel. I will display my glory through you.”
But I said, “I have worked hard for nothing. I have used my strength, but I did not accomplish anything. Yet, certainly my case is in the Lord’s hands, and my reward is with my God. The Lord formed me in the womb to be his servant in order to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to him. (The Lord honors me, and my God has become my strength.)”
Now, the Lord says, “You are not just my servant who restores the tribes of Jacob and brings back those in Israel whom I have preserved. I have also made you a light for the nations so that you would save people all over the world.”
The Lord is the defender of Israel, its Holy One. This is what the Lord says to the despised one, to the one scorned by the nation, to the slave of rulers: Kings will see you and stand. Princes will see you and bow. The Lord is faithful. The Holy One of Israel has chosen you. This is what the Lord says: In the time of favor I will answer you. In the day of salvation I will help you. I will protect you. I will appoint you as my promise to the people. You will restore the land. You will make them inherit the desolate inheritance.
You will say to the prisoners, “Come out,” and to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” They will graze along every path, and they will find pastures on every bare hill. They will never be hungry or thirsty, nor will the sun or the burning, hot wind strike them. The one who has compassion on them will lead them and guide them to springs. I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be restored. They will come from far away. They will come from the north and from the west, and they will come from the land of Sinim.
Sing with joy, you heavens! Rejoice, you earth! Break into shouts of joy, you mountains! The Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his humble people.
Second Reading: Acts 1:4-8
Once, while Jesus was meeting with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait there for what the Father had promised. Jesus said to them, “I have told you what the Father promises: John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
So when the apostles came together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus told them, “You don’t need to know about times or seasons that the Father has determined by his own authority. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you. Then you will be my witnesses to testify about me in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Holy Gospel Reading: Matthew 28:16-20
The eleven disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they bowed down in worship, though some had doubts. When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.