SATURDAY WEEK 1 OF ADVENT YEAR B DECEMBER 9 2017
READINGS: Isaiah 30: 19-21.23-26, Ps. 147, Matthew 9: 35-10: 1. 5-8
THEME: You shall weep no more; he shall be gracious to you and hide no more.
The coming of Jesus Christ to the world is timely. God decided to allow the incarnation of the Word to happen at the ripe time when the frustration and disappointment of the world was at its climax. His mercy comes to us because of his love at the time we need him most. Today we see a message of consolation given by Isaiah to the people of God in desperation and confusion. The people of Isaiah’s time from the tone of the prophetic message found themselves in a situation that was seemingly hopeless. They must have lived with no help coming from anywhere, any other god or human efforts. Everything must have failed them and even the land refused to produce vegetation and the sea seems to revolt and dry; nothing was working in their favour. Obviously the last resort of Israel was back to God whom they have deserted for long; faith was rejuvenated in waiting for God’s intervention. It was in this situation that the consoling message of hope depicting God’s eternal plan for humanity came from Isaiah in the first reading.
Beloved, we may find ourselves in a predicament like this when life becomes hopeless and frustrating as if God has gone on French leave in our lives. This is the most difficult time for us like the people of old to seek the Lord. It is important to keep faith and hope alive in him and to become penitent. This is enough to bring restoration back to your life and the incarnation of God would take place in your soul. Today Isaiah assures the people who live in Zion that their cry would cease now. Yes, no more weeping because the Lord would be gracious and merciful to them. The Lord would no more keep silent over your cries because he has come to change your bread of adversity to meal of joy and satisfaction. Your God would no more be in hiding from you again because he will bring you closer and hear you whenever you call him. He will henceforth bless your land with rains and water all your seed. The Lord would send his grace to water your faith to grow and shall be your way to the right path lest you stray again. Your efforts would begin to yield abundant fruits and all your children and flocks shall progress. Even your mountainous lives that are dry will begin to flow with living water. The Lord would let his great light shine upon you and heal all your wounds which he has afflicted on you on the day of his anger and remembrance of your sins.
Beloved, this assurance of better days to come made to the people of old is seen fulfilled by Jesus in the gospel of today. The great teacher that Isaiah promised would no more hide is seen in the gospel teaching the people. He is seen healing every sickness and diseases. His sight of the helpless and hopeless crowd attracted his compassion and he came to take care of them like a Good Shepherd he is. He came to take care of their needs. Whenever we sin and leave the spiritual territory of God we look deserted and abandoned; we look hopeless and helpless. It makes us to be wounded spiritually and sick as well with wounds afflicted on our souls by sin. It is still Jesus alone whose compassion would come to meet us. He is still the one to reinstate us to our lost glory and heal us. He will be the one who will restore all that we have lost and bring back confidence and hope alive. Remember that the coming of Christ is in threefold: his first which is incarnation, the final which is the parousia and then the intermediary which happens to each of us while we are alive here on earth. It is important that in our miserable and hopeless conditions, we allow him to come and meet us and change our predicament. We must note that the Psalmist today reminded us that blessed are those who wait for the Lord.
Let us pray that we may be in the best disposition of mind to allow him come so that he would heal our broken hearted and bind up all our wounds; may the Lord lift us up as he does to the lowly and cast down the wicked to the ground, Amen.