Advent II

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit! (Romans 15:13)

Isaiah 11:1-10
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder's den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

Matthew 3:1-12
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance. Do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
There is a flower sprung of a tree, The root thereof is called Jesse,
A flower of price; There is none such in paradise.

This flower is fair and fresh of hue, It fadeth never, but ever is new;
The blessed branch this flower on grew Was Mary mild that bare Jesu;
A flower of grace: Against all sorrow it is solace.

The seed hereof was Goddes sand That God himself sowed with his hand,
In Nazareth, that holy land, Amidst her arbour a maiden found;
This blessed flower Sprang never but in Mary’s bower.

When Gabriel this maid did meet, With Ave Maria he did her greet;
Between them two this flower was set And safe was kept, no man should wit
Till on a day In Bethlehem it could spread and spray.

When that fair flower began to spread And his sweet blossom began to bed
Then rich and poor of every land They marvelled how this flower might spread,
Till kinges three That blessed flower came to see.

Angels there came from heaven’s tower To look upon this freshele flower,
How fair he was in his colour And how sweet in his savour;
And to behold How such a flower might spring in gold.

There is a flower sprung of a tree, The root thereof is called Jesse,
A flower of price; There is none such in paradise.

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