And you, Bethlehem (Ephratah),
are small among the thousands of Judah;
but out of you one shall go forth from me
who shall be a ruler in Israel,
whose going-out is from the beginning,
from the days of eternity.
For this reason he shall give them until the time
in which the laboring woman gives birth,
and the rest of his brothers
will return to the sons of Israel.
And he shall stand, and lead them
in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God;
and they will be turned,
for he shall now be greatened to the ends of the earth.
And of him there will be peace…
For the law, having but a shadow of the good things yet to come, and not the image itself of the matters, can never make the comers perfect with those sacrificial victims which they offered continually year after year; or would they not have ceased being offered, since those who had sacrificed to be cleansed would no longer have conscience of the sins? But in them there is a commemoration made of the sins every year. For the blood of bulls and goats cannot bear away sins; 5 for which reason coming into the world he says,
A sacrifice and an offering you have not desired,
but you prepared me a body;
nor have whole burnt sacrifices for sin pleased you,
but I said, Behold, it is I, God—
at the top of the book it has been written of me—
here to do your will.
And when he said above,
Sacrifice and offering
and whole burnt sacrifices for sin
you did not desire
nor did they please you—
which were offered according to the law—But I said, Behold, it is I, God, here to do your will—he bears away the former to establish the latter, in which will we are made holy by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And Mary, rising up, in those days went up into the mountain land with diligence, into a city of Judah, and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth. And it so happened that as Elisabeth heard Mary’s greeting the baby jumped for joy in her womb.
And Elisabeth was filled with the holy spirit, and cried out at the top of her voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed the fruit of your womb.
“And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of your greeting was in my ears, the child in my womb jumped for joy. And blessed is she who believed; for those things that the Lord has said to her shall be accomplished.” And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord;
and my spirit has exulted in God my savior.
For he has looked upon the humility of his handmaiden;
for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he has made me great, who is strong,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy will be to generation after generation
of those who fear him.
He has made strength in his arm;
he scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has deposed the mighty from their thrones,
and lifted up the humble.
The hungry he fills with good things,
and the rich he sends away empty.
He has supported Israel his servant,
that his mercy may be remembered
(as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and his seed) forever.”