The first reading heard at yesterday’s Mass, that of the Second Sunday of Advent, came from the prophet Isaiah.
‘Console my people, console them’
says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem
and call to her
that her time of service is ended,
that her sin is atoned for,
that she has received from the hand of the Lord
double punishment for all her crimes.’
A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness
a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God
across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low.
Let every cliff become a plain,
and the ridges a valley;
then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed
and all mankind shall see it;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
Go up on a high mountain,
joyful messenger to Zion.
Shout with a loud voice,
joyful messenger to Jerusalem.
Shout without fear,
say to the towns of Judah,
‘Here is your God.’
Here is the Lord coming with power,
his arm subduing all things to him.
The prize of his victory is with him,
his trophies all go before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast
and leading to their rest the mother ewes.
It is comforting for God’s people to hear that his consolation is for them. Truly comforting.
But it is also for God’s people to share that good news of consolation with others too.
- For what and why do you need consoling?
- With whom and how might you share that consolation today?
There is so much clutter to our lives, so many distractions. Let God’s consolation bring new light and order to them. Let Advent be a time of clearing out, and a time of preparation for something new and better.
Photograph of artfully arranged clutter in an art restorer’s shop in Venice. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.