Thursday: 1st Week of Advent

God’s holy mountain will enjoy rock-like security, Isaiah announces in today’s first reading.

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah:

    “A strong city have we;
        he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us.
    Open up the gates
        to let in a nation that is just,
        one that keeps faith.
    A nation of firm purpose you keep in peace;
        in peace, for its trust in you.”

    Trust in the LORD forever!
        For the LORD is an eternal Rock.
    (Isaiah 27)

Our world today is thirsting for the security Isaiah promises. Listen to the growing cries around us for safe cities, safe neighborhoods, safe schools, safe roads, safe water.  We’re looking for a health care system, a work environment, a food supply, a government, a nation, a world that’s safe and dependable. Today, too, we’re worried about a planet that’s threatened.

Humanity and the earth itself need security to flourish. 

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Jesus says in today’s gospel.

We weaken the words of Jesus if we hear them only as words of personal assurance. They are meant for “everyone.” Jesus calls for society and the world itself to act on his words.  

The holy mountain promised by Isaiah is not just a place of personal security. It’s not the mountain the bird flies to when danger comes. ( cf. Psalm 11   ) It’s a mountain that  needs a “nation that is just and of firm purpose” to enter its gates, Isaiah says.

We hear a common longing in the words of the psalmist:

“There is one thing I ask of the Lord,

for this I long,

to live in the house of the Lord,

all the days of my life,

to savor the sweetness of the Lord,

to behold his temple.

For there he keeps me safe in his tent

in the day of evil.

He hides me in the shelter of his tent,

on a rock he sets me safe.” (Psalm 27)

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