Monday of the 2nd Week of Advent
Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
1st Reading IS 35:1-10
Psalm 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14 Our God will come to save us!
Gospel LK 5:17-26
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not! – Isaiah 35:3-4
The first reading from Isaiah is one of my very favorites. It is so beautiful, so comforting, so very full of hope. And we continue our sing-through of Handel’s Messiah, with this very short offering : “And the eyes of the blind” (followed by “And He Shall Feed His Flock/Come Unto Him”, Isaiah 40 and Matthew 11 – this is my very favorite part of the Messiah, and the one I would most love to sing myself).
We long for peace. We long for hope. We love for love. Isaiah 35:1-10 is the promise of the fulfillment of all our deepest longings.
Do you have weakened knees, hands that are tired, or hearts that are heavy? Take comfort. There is a path to God, and we are all called to walk it.
The highway…It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk. -Isaiah 35:8
In the Gospel today, Jesus heals a paralyzed man, one who is called but cannot walk – literally. Jesus sees not just the surface needs – the limp legs – but the deepest needs and longings of this man.
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply,
“What are you thinking in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God. – Luke 5:22-25
Pray and reflect: What do you need healing from? Ask Jesus to show you, and to heal you in your deepest needs. Prayerfully read Isaiah 35:1-10 – allow the promise of hope to flow over you.
Here is a choral song I wrote based on the 1st reading. Someday, I hope to have it sung by a choir!