Memory of the Church

Deel Op

Memorial of Saint Nicholas (+ 343) whose relics are in Bari. He was a bishop in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) and is venerated throughout East. (Memorial of all Christians who live in the East)


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Isaiah 40,1-11

'Console my people, console them,' says your God. 'Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and cry to her that her period of service is ended, that her guilt has been atoned for, that, from the hand of Yahweh, she has received double punishment for all her sins.' A voice cries, 'Prepare in the desert a way for Yahweh. Make a straight highway for our God across the wastelands. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be levelled, every cliff become a plateau, every escarpment a plain; then the glory of Yahweh will be revealed and all humanity will see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.' A voice said, 'Cry aloud!' and I said, 'What shall I cry?' -'All humanity is grass and all its beauty like the wild flower's. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of Yahweh blows on them. (The grass is surely the people.) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.' Go up on a high mountain, messenger of Zion. Shout as loud as you can, messenger of Jerusalem! Shout fearlessly, say to the towns of Judah, 'Here is your God.' Here is Lord Yahweh coming with power, his arm maintains his authority, his reward is with him and his prize precedes 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.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Inspired by God's Spirit, the prophet speaks words of consolation and comfort to the people who are exiled and saddened by their distance from Jerusalem. On one hand he invites the people to reflect on their weakness and the precariousness of life, on the other he urges them to raise their eyes and turn them to the Lord who did not abandon them rather he is coming to free them. We urgently must open a road in the desert of our hearts to allow the Lord to come. The desert for us is that of the hearts, that of the cities like desert of love, life, and dignity and therefore prey to violence, war, abandonment, and loneliness. God comes to free the hearts from the slavery of evil, of sin, and of selfishness. When the Word of God reaches a heart, it makes it blossom again: a new world grows from a new heart. The Lord asks the prophet to console His people, that is to speak to their hearts so that they start again hoping and trusting not in themselves but in God who saves. The Lord asks the prophet to console everyone so that no one may be deprived of the proclamation of the new time of salvation. Therefore he asks him, "Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings." In this time of Advent Christian communities, individual believers and we all are called to welcome this Word of hope.