Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’
He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.
Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
The prophet Isaiah becomes our reliable spiritual guide throughout these weeks of Advent. His words pour God’s overwhelming mercy and goodness into each of our lives. No matter whether Advent 2015 finds me in a personal desert or a vale of great hope, Isaiah reminds me deep down inside that “the Lord binds up the wounds of his people.”
But the call of Advent also pulls us forward: Jesus himself invites us beyond personal needs and concerns to a fuller life of service. Today’s gospel summons us “to cure sickness and disease of every kind.” The reality is that “the gift you have received” we are now invited to “give as a gift.”
Tomorrow the Church celebrates the feast of the legendary gift-giver St. Nicholas. In his great-hearted spirit, St. Nicholas reminds me that these weeks of Advent grace invite me to dig deep and give my very best —my time and treasure, an open heart and a generous spirit—sharing mercy, spreading love, announcing good news! And just how will this happen in my life this weekend?
— The Jesuit Prayer Team
Life-giving God, take over my body and soul:
I give you my hands to do your work today.
I give you my feet to travel along your way.
I give you my eyes to see as you do.
I give you my tongue to speak your words.
I give you my mind that you may pray within me.
Above all, I give you my heart that you may love within me.
Blessed be your name throughout this Advent day. Amen.
—A traditional Advent prayerPlease share the Good Word with your friends!