Isaiah 45, Day 2

“Isaiah 45, Day 2”
Isaiah 45:8b
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

Let justice descend, you heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the clouds drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let righteousness spring up with them!

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Isaiah 45, Day 1

“Isaiah 45, Day 1”
Isaiah 45:8a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

Let justice descend, you heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the clouds drop it down.

Isaiah 45:8a

One of the most beautiful Advent hymns of the Catholic Church, “Rorate caeli” (Drop down, ye heavens), comes from Isaiah 45:8 in the Latin Vulgate:

Latin:

Rorate caeli desuper et nubes pluant justum aperiatur terra et germinet salvatorem et justitia oriatur simul ego Dominus creavi eum.

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Isaiah 61, Day 6

“Isaiah 61, Day 6”
Isaiah 61:11a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

As the earth brings forth its shoots,
and a garden makes its seeds spring up…

Isaiah 61:11a

The first line of this verse echoes Genesis 1:12: 

And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind.

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Isaiah 61, Day 5

“Isaiah 61, Day 5”
Isaiah 61:10c
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

Like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem,
as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Isaiah 61:10c

Biblical marriage between a bridegroom and his bride has royal, sacred, and cosmic significance. … Read the rest

Isaiah 61, Day 4

“Isaiah 61, Day 4”
Isaiah 61:10b
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation,
and wrapped me in a robe of justice…

Isaiah 61:10b

In paradise restored, the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Revelation 21:9), stands before the tree of life clothed once again in a robe of glory.… Read the rest

Isaiah 61, Day 3

“Isaiah 61, Day 3”
Isaiah 61:10a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

I will rejoice heartily in the Lord,
my being exults in my God.

Isaiah 61:10a

Holy Mother Church, the new Jerusalem, rejoices as one body and one bride. In the Liturgy of the Hours, the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary draws its first canticle from Isaiah 61:10–62:3 with this prefatory reflection: I saw the new Jerusalem, the holy city, prepared as a bride adorned for her bridegroom (Revelation 21:2).… Read the rest

A Divine and Human Genealogy

Mary Garden at the Passionist Monastery in Jamaica, New York

Friday of the Third Week of Advent

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Matthew 1:1

The Word became flesh in a gnarled and twisted family tree, commencing its healing and deification.… Read the rest

Isaiah 61, Day 2

“Isaiah 61, Day 2”
Isaiah 61:3b
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

To comfort all who mourn;
to place on those who mourn in Zion
a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness instead of mourning,
a glorious mantle instead of a faint spirit.

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Isaiah 61, Day 1

“Isaiah 61, Day 1” (2 panels)
Isaiah 61:1
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
release to the prisoners,

To announce a year of favor from the Lord
and a day of vindication by our God.

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The Scandal of the Incarnation

Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Isaiah 45:6b-8, 18, 21c-25; Luke 7:18b-23 (Matthew 11:2-6)

At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And

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What is Faith?

Icon of the Crucifixion

Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

Luke 7:18b-23 (Matthew 11:2-6)

At that time, John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” When

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A Voice in the Desert Draws Outcasts

Icon of St. John the Baptist (Macedonia, 14th century)

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 

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Isaiah 35, Day 3

“Isaiah 35, Day 3”
Isaiah 35:2b
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.

Isaiah 35:2b

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the majestic, snow-capped mountains of Lebanon—rich in cedars and fruitful orchards—shaped the Israelite vision of the Promised Land.… Read the rest

When Truth is Silent

Christ Pantocrator, Cathedral of the Transfiguration, Cefalù, Sicily, 12th century. Licensed by Andreas Wahra under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

Psalm 25; Matthew 21:23-27

When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And

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One Mightier Than I

St. John the Baptist by Meister von Gracanica.
Serbo-Byzantine fresco from Gračanica Monastery, Kosovo, c. 1235.

A Reflection on the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent

The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What then should we do?” He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none.

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Isaiah 35, Day 2

“Isaiah 35, Day 2”
Isaiah 35:2a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The Hebrew word translated variously as “crocus,” “meadow saffron,” “rose,” “narcissus,” “lily,” or “flower” (chabatstseleth) is of uncertain derivation. Out of the dry, cracked earth, a carpet of colorful blooms burst into song in praise of their Creator. … Read the rest

Isaiah 35, Day 1

 “Isaiah 35, Day 1”
Isaiah 35:1
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
the Arabah will rejoice and bloom.

Isaiah 35:1

East of Eden, the whole earth is parched and barren, thirsting for the vivifying stream of the Spirit of God.… Read the rest

The Root of Jesse, Day 8

“The Root of Jesse, Day 8”
Isaiah 11:8
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The baby shall play by the viper’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.

Isaiah 11:8

The cunning of the serpent, the primordial tempter, will be rendered innocuous by the infant Messiah born of a young woman (Isaiah 7:14).… Read the rest

The Root of Jesse, Day 7

“The Root of Jesse, Day 7”
Isaiah 11:7
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The cow and the bear shall graze,
together their young shall lie down;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.

Isaiah 11:7

For Isaiah’s Hebrew audience, the image of a cow and a bear feeding together signified a new harmony transcending the division of “clean” and “unclean.”… Read the rest

The Root of Jesse, Day 6

“The Root of Jesse, Day 6”
Isaiah 11:6b
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.

Isaiah 11:6b

The little child recalls pristine adam (humankind) in the garden of Eden, the priest-king entrusted with “dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).… Read the rest

The Root of Jesse, Day 5

“The Root of Jesse, Day 5”
Isaiah 11:6a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat.

Isaiah 11:6a

Isaiah’s vision of universal peace and harmony even among the beasts points to a kingship not of this world. The… Read the rest

The Root of Jesse, Day 4

“The Root of Jesse, Day 4”
Isaiah 11:5
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

The blossom from the stump of Jesse will see with the eye of God:

Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide, 

But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide fairly for the land’s afflicted.

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The Root of Jesse, Day 3

“The Root of Jesse, Day 3”
Isaiah 11:2b-3a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord,

and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:2b-3a

Counsel

The Hebrew word etsah (counsel, advice, guidance) is cognate with etsah (trees), from the parent root ets (tree, trees, wood).… Read the rest

City of God

Icon of the Theotokos

Thursday of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 26:1-6; Matthew 7:21, 24-27

On that day they will sing this song in the land of Judah: 
“A strong city have we; 
he sets up walls and ramparts to protect us. 

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The Root of Jesse, Day 1

“The Root of Jesse, Day 1”
Isaiah 11:1
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.

Isaiah 11:1

The dynasty of David, the strong, ruddy youth chosen from among the sons of Jesse (1 Samuel 16:12), had decayed to a stump thirteen kings and over three hundred years later during the reign of King Ahaz.… Read the rest

The Mountain of the Lord, Day 1

“The Mountain of the Lord, Day 1”
Isaiah 2:2a
©️2020 by Gloria M. Chang

“Your country is waste, your cities burnt with fire,” the prophet Isaiah rails in the opening chapter of his scroll (1:7a). Judah and Jerusalem are riddled with injustice, hypocrisy, murder, thievery, rebellion, and every sort of corruption.… Read the rest