Our God will come to save us!
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Every year I have to stop at least once and remind myself how happy I am to hear the readings, prayers and songs of Advent. I will hear what God proclaims!
Isaiah was astonished by the miraculous bloom of the desert and parched land. How beautiful it is.
I attended a simulcast opera a year or two ago. The theater was crowded, every seat taken, and I had to suffer through the quiet muttering of a critic as he talked with his erudite friend. He was not astonished by the soprano's voice or the tenor's skill. The choreography did not enthrall him, nor did the set fascinate him. He had seen the same opera before and, he said, it was better then.
There are always critics who want to demonstrate their superiority by not being astonished when the desert blooms, the or sun rises, or an infant suckles at her mother's breast. They've seen better displays and don't hesitate to impose their views upon the unwary.
They will tell us the flourish of spring has happened a billion times before; it's predictable and frankly boring.
They have eyes but they do not see; ears, but they do not hear. They are like the idols of pixels and bytes they create.
They cannot be saved because they cannot hear the word of salvation. They cannot be forgiven because they have not sinned. They cannot rejoice because their cup of joy is empty.
Winter and Advent invite us to see beauty before the spring arrives. See it in the metallic grey sky, the brown grass and dead leaves. See it in the children who slouch under their school bags as they trudge into class, and teachers who dare to instruct them. See it in the Monday morning commute and the midday lunch break. See it in the retirees who begin each day with Mass.
See it in the ability to see with eyes full of grace.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land.