1st Reading – Isaiah 66:18-21
Thus says the LORD:
I know their works and their thoughts,
and I come to gather nations of every language;
they shall come and see my glory.
I will set a sign among them;
from them I will send fugitives to the nations:
to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan,
to the distant coastlands
that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory;
and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.
They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD,
just as the Israelites bring their offering
to the house of the LORD in clean vessels.
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.
Today’s first reading is from Third Isaiah (chapters 56-66), which offered hope to those who returned to the holy land after the Babylonian exile. The returned exiles were faced with many hardships as they tried to rebuild Jerusalem, which had been ravaged by the Babylonians.
This passage is from the conclusion of the entire book and tells of a great ingathering of people from every nation.