Monday of the Second Week of Advent

Today's Mass Readings


The prophets and poets of the Old Testament were master wordsmiths. What could be more beautiful than the Prophet Isaiah describing the desert blooming and rejoicing to greet the Israelites as they returned from exile?

         The desert and the parched land will exult;
         the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
         They will bloom with abundant flowers,
         and rejoice with joyful song.

The people were returning to their promised land but also returning to renew their commitment of fidelity to God who had never abandoned them. That return to fidelity meant recognizing the signs of God’s merciful care.

The desert still blooms whenever we witness the love of God being extended through the generosity of a friend or stranger. In today’s Gospel, we see four people (could they have been strangers?) hoisting a paralyzed person up and over through the roof to place that person in the presence of Jesus. This was clearly a testimony of faith supported by a bold decision and unifying action!

Are you on the lookout for deserts in bloom? You need not go far to find it. Would you be willing to pick up one corner of the stretcher? If so, why?

Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB

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