Year B: Year of Mark
First Sunday in Advent
First Reading: Isaiah 63: 16-17; 64:1, 3-8
The first scripture passage of the liturgical year opens on a note of impassioned pleading with God to come in all His power - all His glory - to let the world know His Presence.. a presence before which even the mountains would melt.
Isaiah is the Advent prophet - not least because he and his disciples (who, in fact, completed the book we call Isaiah) lived at a time of great longing for the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of Godís People.
The people have begun to recognise that their Exile was a consequence of their failure to live with integrity and in the ways of the Lord. Their selfishness had shrivelled them up like fallen leaves - their sin like the autumn wind scattering them.
Now the longing is for a Messiah to come and gather His people and to bring them home.
The words flow with passion - and yearning. The writer faces up to the wrongs that have been committed.
But he also comes to a moment of trust and peace: God is the Father who does not forget His children - God is the potter - we are the clay, we are the work of Godís hands.
The reading follows a pattern often encountered in the Psalms - and one which it is good to pray when times are hard. We are shown that God does not insist on politeness - or that we say all is well when it isnít. A real relationship with God allows us to express the pain of where we are. We tell God how it feels - and then, as the anger - pain - fear pass, we find that in the space where they were, something else has appeared - the certainty that God loves us and, no matter how it feels, God has not abandoned us to our plight - nor ever will...
What does it mean for me?
Do you find it easy to be honest with God?
How can Isaiah's example help you to deepen your relationship with God?
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