Carry the Word with you

Posted in scripture by Mike on November 30, 2014


Monday of the First Week of Advent, Cycle 1

First reading of the day:

Isaiah 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come, The mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and impose terms on many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

Gospel reading of the day:

Matthew 8:5-11

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with fff4ec611b870183ef13460eb4f322fd_w600soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”

Reflection on the readings: Advent reminds that all of history, not just the twinkling lights of our lives, nor only the tumultuous sweep of the history of nations, but indeed the whole great unfolding of the cosmic event has a point. Jesus is the Word that God speaks to us, the story that God tells us, that our lives are not a series of empty pleasures and unredeemed sorrows, that the explosion of the cosmos across the eons is not some extravagant futility. Advent promises that if a marginal figure in a forgotten part of a forsaken country can shake the world to its foundations, everything is connected: All the parts of our lives, the advances of the peoples, and the speeding of the stars are integral aspects of one and the same reality. Advent recalls for us we are on a journey to the Lord’s mountain, and when cosmic, human, and individual histories collide on a single point, all things will be fulfilled in God’s own self, and we will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.