1st Week of Advent
Psalter: Week 1
Ps 72:1–2, 7–8, 12–13, 17
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.
1st Reading: Is 11:1–10
From the stump of Jesse a shoot will come forth;
from his roots a branch will grow and bear fruit.
The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him –
a Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
a Spirit of counsel and power,
a Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
Not by appearances will he judge,
nor by what is said must he decide,
but with justice he will judge the poor
and with righteousness decide for the meek.
Like a rod, his word will strike the oppressor,
and the breath of his lips slay the wicked.
Justice will be the girdle of his waist,
truth the girdle of his loins.
The wolf will dwell with the lamb,
the leopard will rest beside the kid,
the calf and the lion cub will feed together
and a little child will lead them.
Befriending each other, the cow and the bear
will see their young ones lie down together.
Like cattle, the lion will eat hay.
By the cobra’s den the infant will play.
The child will put his hand into the viper’s lair.
No one will harm or destroy over my holy mountain,
for as water fills the sea
the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.
On that day the “Root of Jesse” will be raised as a signal for the nations. The people will come in search of him, thus making his dwelling place glorious.
Gospel: Lk 10:21–24
Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, “Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see but did not, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
When the seventy-two disciples returned from their mission journey and reported their success over the powers of darkness to him, Jesus could not contain his joy. He delighted in the triumph of the Kingdom of his Father. He was also delighted that his little ones—the disciples—shared in his power and had become an integral part of the Kingdom. This was the dream of his Father, and so this was his dream as well. Did the disciples grasp the significance of the event? “Fortunate are you to see what you see.” Ever since sin entered the world and humanity suffered under its slavery, many patriarchs, prophets, and kings had looked forward to seeing the day of God’s triumph and hearing the good news of their redemption, but had died without seeing them. The disciples are blessed to live in the time of redemption, and to be the apostles of the same. Blessed are they, indeed!
When we look around us, what do we see? Do we see only darkness, pain, misery, illness, violence, death, and destruction? Or do we see, even in the midst of all these, the Kingdom breaking in and inviting us to be its missionaries?
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