A Reflection for the Second Week in Advent
By. Sr. Marilyn Dunphy, MHSH
This reading from the liturgy of Monday, Dec. 5 (Isaiah 35: 1-10) is both comfort and challenge as we “wait in joyful hope” this Advent season. Isaiah paints a picture of an arid steppe blooming with abundant flowers and the exiled Jewish people singing and rejoicing.
This portrayal of renewed creation should give us hope that despite the myriad troubled conditions in our world, God has promised to renew all things. The passage also demands that we do our part: strengthen feeble hands, help firm up weak knees, encourage the frightened.
Spend some time with this passage. Do you believe in God’s promise of renewal? What might you do this Advent, and beyond, to co-labor with God in bringing it about?
The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to them,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
Then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals lurk
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
nor fools go astray on it.
No lion will be there,
nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it.
It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.