1st Week of Advent
John of Damascus
Psalter: Week 1
Ps 23:1–3a, 3b–4, 5, 6
I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
1st Reading: Is 25:6–10a
On this mountain Yahweh Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines, meat full of marrow, fine wine strained.
On this mountain he will destroy the pall cast over all peoples, this very shroud spread over all nations, and death will be no more. The Lord Yahweh will wipe away the tears from all cheeks and eyes; he will take away the humiliation of his people all over the world: for Yahweh has spoken.
On that day you will say: This is our God. We have waited for him to save us, let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For on this mountain the hand of Yahweh rests.
Moab instead will be trodden down, as straw trodden down on a dunghill.
Gospel: Mt 15:29–37
Jesus went to the shore of Lake Galilee, and then went up into the hills where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the dumb, the blind, the lame, the crippled, and many with other infirmities. The people carried them to the feet of Jesus, and he healed them. All were astonished when they saw the dumb speaking, the lame walking, the crippled healed and the blind able to see; so they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “I am filled with compassion for these people; they have already followed me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away fasting, or they may faint on the way.” His disciples said to him, “And where shall we find enough bread in this wilderness to feed such a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They answered, “Seven, and a few small fish.” So Jesus ordered the people to sit on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the small fish and gave thanks to God. He broke them and gave them to his disciples, who distributed them to the people.
They all ate and were satisfied, and the leftover broken pieces filled seven wicker baskets.
What an astonishing sight it was! A feast for the eyes! When those people climbed up the mountain to be with the Lord, they were a haggard crowd, blind, deaf, dumb, lame, crippled, and ill. But at the end of the third day, after all the healing and feeding, they would have come down the hill, dancing all the way! For, they were fed to their heart’s content, cured in body, and healed in soul. They walked with a spring in their steps and a song in their souls.
This is what happens to everyone who “goes up the mountain” to be with the Lord. There is a transfiguration that happens on the mountain. The Lord wipes away tears from their face and takes away their humiliation before people. The hand of the Lord rests on them.
Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord that he may feed us, heal us, and rest his hand on us.
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