This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
Our feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem—built as a city
that is bound firmly together.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the Lord,
as was decreed for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there the thrones for judgment were set up,
the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good.
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."
As we begin our Church calendar preparing for the birth of Christ, we see the basics of our religion. As Mary received the Word as a promise, believing and waiting for it to be revealed, so we too live in a world of expectation and promise.
As the centurion had encountered something beyond his control, we too encounter uncontrollable distress and helplessness in life. We are always being brought to a point of neediness where we must look beyond ourselves and therefore, hope is essential for us humans.
We have to believe in something beyond our world. We have to hope in heaven and the reward of faithfulness as we bring others to God and lift them up for healing. We have plenty of evidence that God is here in our world and listening to us. Advent reminds us that he has made us promises too. We can hope in salvation in this life as a sign of the fullness of the next life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the joy of the coming of my Savior today and in the fullness of your timing when he comes again in glory. May this Advent season be a blessed time for all who look to you in faith. May I, and all those I am praying for, have expectant faith and greater trust in your healing love. May we all receive the promise of your salvation. Amen