“O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; he will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you.” (Is 30:19)
The real power of this passage, I believe, is found in the verse that immediately precedes the text we hear at Mass: “Truly, the LORD is waiting to be gracious to you; truly, he shall rise to show you mercy, for the LORD is a God of justice: happy are all who wait for him!”
Advent is about waiting and living in expectation of wonders to be discovered as we go about our daily lives, but with fresh eyes. The Lord is waiting to be gracious! Following oracles denouncing Israel’s folly in thinking that earthly alliances and intrigues will save it, the prophet Isaiah announces God’s vision of Zion’s deliverance; and it has very little to do with human initiative, only God’s!
Look at Isaiah’s words and see who is active ― answering their prayers, providing for their needs, healing them, bestowing bread and water, restoring their flocks and herds and pastures, and lifting up the lofty mountain of his everlasting presence. The same is true in the gospel: Jesus is moved with pity for the crowds, and acts on their behalf.
There is so much to do in this hectic time of the year: gifts to buy, houses to decorate, holiday parties to plan, and travel to family gatherings. At the very start of Advent, God says to us: “Consider what I am doing! Remember my love. Live in the hope of a future made glorious by the second coming of Christ!”
Be still for a while today, and reflect on God’s hope for you.
Let us pray:
God, may the light of the Advent wreath be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. May he come quickly and not delay!
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)