Wednesday, 2nd Week of Advent

The words from Isaiah  today, scholars say, are not the words of Isaiah but the words of an unknown prophet writing centuries later to Jewish exiles in Babylon. He urges them to return to Jerusalem, but many have settled in the new land and have no taste for returning.

The journey’s long and hard, some say. Nothing to go back to.  Forget Jerusalem and the One who called, others say. Our God has let us down, so we’ll sing the songs of this land.

Confronting them, the writer uses Isaiah’s name, a prophet long dead,  lest the Babylonians charge him with treason for suggesting the Jews return. Still, the unknown prophet confronts them with God’s words:

“To whom can you liken me as an equal? says the Holy One.”

God knows every one of you and calls you all by name. Come back where you belong; you can make the journey.

“He gives strength to the fainting;

for the weak he makes vigor abound.

Though young men faint and grow weary,

and youths stagger and fall,

They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,

they will soar as with eagles’ wings;

They will run and not grow weary,

walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40)

Is it still the same, a people estranged from God, unaware of God’s call, unwilling to consider a return? Why believe in the promise? Why return to a city or a world or a church in ruins? But Advent call. In Advent we pray for “us, poor banished children of Eve.”.

One thought on “Wednesday, 2nd Week of Advent

  1. Joan Celiano

    St. Mary’s Community Building Ministry offered an Advent Breakfast on Sunday, December 4th. What a wonderful way to bring the community of faithful together for an enjoyable morning centered around a meal! But in addition, I had the priviledge to work with some amazing women in creating a Jesse Tree Activity available for all in participate. The Jesse Tree gives us the opportunity to learn more about Jesus’ family history through Old Testament Scripture readings in preparation for Christmas. At the Advent Breakfast, we provided paper ornaments for family members to color and add to our St. Mary’s Jesse Tree. Families were given a brief explanation of the Jesse Tree and were offered a booklet to take home. This booklet gives daily scripture readings, stories, prayers, and their own paper ornaments to color and hang on their own tree at home. Parishioners of all ages visited our activity with wonder and left with enthusiasm! The day was filled with the warmth of the Holy Spirit for all in attendance. Even those “elves” who worked so diligently from the early hours of the morning seemed to end their day with a smile on their face. St. Mary’s Breakfast was an inspiration for all ages in the true meaning of Advent. Thank you to all that volunteered their time!

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