The journey to God’s holy mountain will not be by way of the sea, the easiest road to Jerusalem from Babylon, Isaiah told the exiles in Babylon. (Isaiah 4o ff) God will bring them there over mountains and through a wilderness, but the valleys will be filled, the mountains made low, the crooked ways straight. They’ll have guides and graces; God himself will shepherd them.
John the Baptist preached that message from Isaiah in the Jordan Valley where the winding road up to Jerusalem began. He is the messenger sent by God to announce the coming of Jesus Christ.
Readings from the Old Testament this week, mostly from Isaiah, recognize the wilderness journey as a hard journey, but the desert will bloom and a highway will be there, a holy way. (Monday) God speaks tender, comforting words to his people on the way. (Tuesday) Those who hope in him will renew their strength, soaring on eagle’s wings. (Wednesday) Though we’re as insignificant as a worm, God grasps our hand and says: “Fear not; I am with you.” (Thursday) God is our teacher and shows us the way we are to go. (Friday) Prophets like Elijah also accompany us. (Saturday)
Jesus is with us on the way, the Gospel readings say. He forgave and healed a paralyzed man, symbol of a paralyzed humanity, who was lowered through the roof into the house in Capernaum. (Monday) Like a good shepherd Jesus searches for and finds the stray sheep. (Tuesday) “Come to me all who are weary…” he says. (Wednesday) He sends prophets and guides like John the Baptist and Elijah. (Thursday) Though rejected like John the Baptist, Jesus still teaches. (Friday) He will save us, even though unrecognized like John and Elijah. (Saturday)
December 6 Mon Advent Weekday [Saint Nicholas, Bishop]
Is 35:1-10/Lk 5:17-26
7 Tue Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church Memorial
Is 40:1-11/Mt 18:12-14
8 Wed THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY (Patronal Feastday of the United States of America) Solemnity
Gn 3:9-15, 20/Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/Lk 1:26-38
9 Thu Advent Weekday [Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin]
Is 41:13-20/Mt 11:11-15
10 Fri Advent Weekday [Our Lady of Loreto] Is 48:17-19/Mt 11:16-19
11 Sat Advent Weekday [Saint Damasus I, Pope]
Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/Mt 17:9a, 10-13
12 SUN THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Zep 3:14-18a/Phil 4:4-7/Lk 3:10-18
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, the patronal feast day of the United States of America, is celebrated on Wednesday of this week.
Readings Online: http://www.usccb.org