Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent
Isaiah 45: 6c-8, 18, 21c-25
Luke 7: 18b-23
The first reading is part of a longer section which began in chapter 43: 44ff which praises King Cyrus, the Anointed of the Lord, who will free the Hebrew people from their captivity in Babylon and send them home to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The sovereign God has freely chosen Cyrus as his instrument. This is the God who is the creator of all things. By the power of this God justice will descend like gentle rain from the skies and salvation bud forth. This is the undying hope of Advent: that the just and saving God will do now what he has always done. Therefore, let every knee bend and every tongue swear that the Lord brings justice and salvation. Yes, for us, as for the people of Second Isaiah’s day, the Lord is the vindication and the glory of all the descendents of Israel!
Jesus is our Advent hope. May the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers be cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead come to life. And to the poor and the oppressed may the good news be proclaimed that Jesus is Lord.
When Jerome translated Isaiah 45:8 he made explicit what the hope really is: "Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior!"
As we look out on our world today we need the hope more than ever. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.