Monday of the Second Week of Advent
(Isaiah 35:1-10; Luke 5:17-26)
Many people will be taking a flight home for Christmas. Most of the travelers will feel peace penetrating their souls as their plane approaches their city. They will experience a shadow of the salvation which the prophet Isaiah describes in today’s first reading.
The passage does not identify either the starting or the terminal point of the journey. From what is known of the Old Testament, however, the journey probably ends in Jerusalem, the heavenly home. In the Temple there people make peace with God. They not only experience relief from the burden of their sins but also consolation from being surrounded by others who believe as they do. The passage exhorts the strengthening of the weak so that they might complete the journey. In the gospel Jesus is shown to do just that. But he doesn’t just heal the paralytic; he forgives his sins so that the man may feel God’s peace instantly.
Advent should be a busy time. However, we must take care not to busy ourselves with vain pursuits. We should be preparing for the coming of the Lord by strengthening one another’s faith. Perhaps this may be done by finding a suitable gift for family members and friends. But it is surely done when we assist those in great need.