Isaiah 11:1-10 ; Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Luke 10:21-24
In today's first scripture reading for Advent we hear once again from the great messianic prophet Isaiah. As I read this scripture I am struck by Isaiah's blending of the past, present, and future. He begins with a reflection on the past when he says: "A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse." Jesse was a key figure in the Old Testament. He was the father of the great king David and the grandfather of Solomon. The name of Jesse was a familiar one to the people of Israel. Isaiah and the other prophets constantly reminded the people of Jesse and of the good times of Israel during the reign of his son and grandson. The people recalled a time of prosperity and good fortune for Israel.
Isaiah 2:1-5; Matthew 8:5-11
It did my heart good to read the words of Isaiah for today. The world often does not seem like a peaceful place. I have seen places where the lives of children break your heart. I have met young people whose lives are scarred by war and violence. My spirit is sometimes devastated at the cruelty of people toward other human beings. But the world does not have to be that way.
The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber.
Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.
So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
We have just begun Advent, and together with it, a new liturgical year, which indicates a new way. This is KAIROS – divine gift, which opens before us new perspectives and invites to look beyond current horizons of our thoughts, desires and dreams. Responding to the grace of this time of Advent, we can experience a deep sense of our life, which is a journey toward an encounter with Christ. This is beautifully expressed by the prayer of St. Vincent Pallotti: Lord, may I always find myself in the state of suffering pilgrim, who is consumed by the greatest desire of approach. During Advent the Lord is asking us: Are we really on the way? Where are we going? What is our common goal?