We journey through a wilderness. That’s what Isaiah said in the Sunday readings and in the readings during the week. John the Baptist shows us the way. Isaiah points him out as a guide: “Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, to prepare your way.” Mark 1:1. In the desert John calls for repentance and promises forgiveness.
The Old Testament readings this week, mostly from Isaiah, describe our journey through the desert as a hard journey, but the desert will bloom and a highway will be there, a holy way. (Monday) We’ll hear tender, comforting words as we go. (Tuesday) Those who hope in God will renew their strength, soaring on eagle’s wings. (Wednesday) We are as insignificant as a worm, the prophet says, but God grasps our hand and says: “Fear not; I am with you.” (Thursday) God teaches us the way to go. (Friday) Prophets like Elijah and John accompany us on our way. (Saturday)
Above all, Jesus is our way, the gospel readings say. His healing and forgiveness of the paralyzed man lowered through the roof into the house in Capernaum symbolizes his healing and forgiveness of paralyzed humanity, (Monday) Like a good shepherd Jesus searches for and finds the stray sheep. (Tuesday) “Come to me all who are weary…” he says. (Wednesday) We’ll find prophets and guides like John the Baptist and Elijah. (Thursday) Though rejected like John the Baptist, Jesus always teaches. (Friday) He saves us, even though he goes unrecognized like John and Elijah. (Saturday)
I’ll add some homilies on this site during our mission at Dover Air Force Base, in Dover, Delaware.
Why do I find an evangelist like Joel Osteen too ready to deny the journey through the wilderness and with it the mystery of the Cross?