Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.
Many sections in Isaiah’s prophesy today are heard every Advent. God is about to bring deliverance to his people says the prophet. So they should be consoled and comfort one another. A second Advent theme, one picked up by John the Baptist follows: “A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!” Yet a third theme, one picked up by the gospel passage for today is “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.”
Isaiah’s prophesy to the Israelites in exile applies equally well to messianic times. It was so interpreted in the early church. Isaiah 40 announced the coming of the LORD to intervene and deliver the people from bondage so that they could prepare for this and comfort others. John, as we know, came proclaiming a baptism of repentance. Today we should recognize our sins and repent of them. Unless we sense our sins, we will not have much desire for the comfort that God provides, or feel the need for a redeemer.
God himself comes to us with might and strength. But this might is wrapped in gentleness. He comes as a shepherd, a good shepherd. And we know our shepherd: it is Jesus. Jesus, our good shepherd comes, humble and gentle. He is tender in his care for us, and will die to protect us. His sacrificial death on our behalf is what we celebrate in every Eucharist. Every Mass announces the coming of Christ to be our savior.
How do we feel the comfort of Christ each day?
Let Us Pray:
O loving Lord, help me to prepare for your coming not only at Christmas, but in each Eucharist I celebrate. May I rejoice in your comfort, prepare the way for your coming, and find comfort in your tender care as my good shepherd.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)