Thursday of the Second Week of Advent

Today's Mass Readings

“I will” – “I do” – “I am” – “I am, with the help of God”

Three responses we hear from the lips of those exchanging marriage vows and making the promises that come in the rites of ordination or religious profession.

Today it is God making the promise – I WILL
Fear not I will help you.
I will open up rivers on the bare heights
I will turn the desert into a marshland
I will plant the cedar.
I will set in the wasteland the cypress

It is GOD speaking the words of PROMISE: I WILL. I will deliver you. Fear not, I will love you

Why all these promises, or one basic promise repeated in so many different ways? We hear the answer:

That ALL MAY SEE AND KNOW / observe and understand / that the hand of the Lord has done this (has done all these things), the HOLY ONE has created it.

It is the Lord making the promise, promising deliverance. It is the Lord we await and who promises to come with salvation, with healing, and with strength.

It is the same message taken up by John the Baptist who was the last of the prophets to prepare the way for the Lord. John was held up as a truly holy and righteous man by Jesus to his followers.

We too look for the coming of the Lord. We wait and watch. Actively waiting and preparing. The Lord’s promise is strong and clear as ever: I will – I will help you. Do not fear.

Reflection by Fr. Peter Ullrich, OSB

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