Scripture: 1st Reading: Is35,1-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps85,9-14; Gospel: Lk5,17-26
Those who live in the wilderness, desert or arid lands understand the importance of water, fecundity and fruitfulness. They value rain and struggle for control of water sources and wells. Water to them is life. But there is yet another wilderness and desert.
This wilderness and desert are the consequences of a departure from God. This type leads to death, the death of the soul. Prophet Isaiah today gave a consoling vision of the restoration of all deserts, arid lands and wastes. This restoration would be accomplished by Yahweh Himself.
The entire creation would be glad again. Forgotten, forsaken and deserted lands would be re-populated because of their new-found fruitfulness; gladness, abundant blossoming, joyful singing, the return of the former glory the land was associated with and known for, the revelation of the majesty of God.
Faint and fearful hearts would be strengthened. Yahweh would come to save His people. The blind shall see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the mute sing for joy, harassed, traumatized and destroyed creation shall become productive again. Peace shall again reign among all creatures of God.
The restoration of creation shall be complete. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
This prophecy was fulfilled at the first historical coming of the Son of God. In today's gospel, we see the fulfillment. A, man paralyzed from birth, that is, totally lame, was completely healed by our Lord. But our Lord did not just heal him of his physical ailment. He healed him also of his spiritual ailment: He forgave him his sins and restored him back to the Father.
With this healing of the paralytic, our Lord confirmed that Isaiah's prophecy was about Him. Through the miracle, especially the healing of the soul of the paralytic, our Lord confirmed His divine origin. He demonstrated that He had authority in heaven and on earth to do whatever He willed.
On this advent day, let us allow these words to have a place in our hearts. Let us know that He alone can bring peace into our hearts and souls. Let us know that His desire is to restore us and give us a new life and a new beginning. Let us prepare the way of our hearts and souls for His coming.
Let us pray: "May our prayer of petition rise before you, we pray, O Lord, that, with purity unblemished, we, your servants may come, as we desire, to celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation of your Only-Begotten Son." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.