Friday, December 6, 2019

Friday of the First Week of Advent

(Isaiah 29:17-24, Matthew 9:27-31)

No book of the Old Testament anticipates the coming of the Lord as much as that of the prophet Isaiah.  The first half of the work is attributed to the original eighth century seer.  He gives startling images to raise the people’s hopes.  When the Assyrian army seems headed toward Jerusalem like a category five hurricane, Isaiah could tell the people not to lose faith.  He says that God will care for them if they trust in Him.

In today’s reading Isaiah tells of the great works that God’s faithful will see.  He says that on the day of the Lord marvelous things will take place.  A whole country will become like a fruitful orchard.  The deaf will begin to hear and the blind, to see.  In the gospel Matthew tells of how Jesus fulfills the prophecy.  He gives sight to two blind men who put their faith in him.

We limit ourselves unnecessarily if our expectations of Advent are only end–of-the-year parties.  It is time to anticipate receiving from Christ a new vision.  During this season we can expect to see the earth not as a warehouse to be plundered but as an orchard to be cultivated.  We hope to see every person as well not as a rival but as a sister or a brother.