Reading



First Reading

Let the desert and the dry lands be glad, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom; like the asphodel, let it burst into fl ower, let it rejoice and sing for joy. The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; then they will see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God. Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to the faint-hearted, ‘Be strong! Do not be afraid. Here is your God, vengeance is coming, divine retribution; he is coming to save you.’ Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame will leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy; for water will gush in the desert and streams in the wastelands, the parched ground will become a marsh and the thirsty land springs of water; the lairs where the jackals used to live will become plots of reed and papyrus.

Isaiah 35:1-10

Gospel

Jesus was teaching one day, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was there so that he should heal. And now some men appeared, bringing on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as they could fi nd no way of getting the man through the crowd, they went up onto the top of the house and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’ The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man, talking blasphemy? Who but God alone can forgive sins?’ But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’—he said to the paralysed man—‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’ And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God. They were all astounded and praised God and were fi lled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’

Luke 5:17-26