The daily Advent readings at Mass for the first week of Advent are beautifully arranged..
In the Old Testament readings, the Prophet Isaiah speaks as a fierce Assyrian army heads towards Jerusalem. Bad times ahead, but the prophet sees something else. All nations are streaming to God’s mountain.
The nations will come to God’s mountain, Jerusalem, where the temple stands, the prophet says. They’ll be fed a rich banquet (Wednesday), the poor will triumph (Thursday), the blind will see (Friday). Safe on this rock, children play around the cobra’s den, and the lion and the lamb lie down together (Tuesday). The prophet challenges us to see our world in another way.
In the gospels Jesus Christ fulfills the Isaian prophecies. The Roman centurion, humbly approaching Jesus in Capernaum, represents all nations approaching him. (Monday) Jesus praises the childlike; they will enter the kingdom of heaven.(Tuesday) He feeds a multitude on the mountain.(Wednesday) His kingdom is built on rock.(Thursday) He gives sight to the blind to find their way. (Friday)
Many Advent readings in these early weeks of Advent are from the gospel of Matthew, who portrays Jesus teaching on a mountain (Isaiah’s favorite symbol). His miracles affect all. Jesus is the new temple, the Presence of God, Emmanuel, God with us. He brings hope beyond human hope.
Lord, help us see what you and the prophets see.