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Monday, December 5, 2005

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Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 85
Luke 5:17-26

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the holy highway home

"A highway will be there, called the holy way." —Isaiah 35:8

Advent is like walking through a desert to escape from exile and return home. How will we survive walking hundreds of miles through the desert?

  • "The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom" (Is 35:1).
  • The Lord will "strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak" (Is 35:3).
  • The Lord says "to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not!" (Is 35:4)
  • "Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag" (Is 35:5-6).
  • "Then the tongue of the dumb will sing" (Is 35:6).
  • "Streams will burst forth in the desert" (Is 35:6).

The Lord will do a series of miracles to free us from the exile and the paralysis due to our sins (see Lk 5:18ff). However, we must accept His grace and decide to be holy, for the highway out of the desolation of sin is "called the holy way" (Is 35:8). "It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk" (Is 35:9). "They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee" (Is 35:10).

Let us leave sin behind and choose holiness. Let us walk on the holy way into the desert of Advent. There we will see many miracles and come home for Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, in this Advent may my desire to be holy greatly intensify.

Promise:  "Seeing their faith, Jesus said, 'My friend, your sins are forgiven you.' " —Lk 5:20

Praise:  Because an old friend whom she hadn't seen in years took the leap and shared about the importance of faith, Mary's eyes were opened and she finally started to see what the Church had taught her for years.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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