The Holy Way

Monday of the Second Week of Advent
December 5, 2022

Today’s Readings:

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120522.cfm

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Isaiah describes a beautiful hike through a desert turned verdant and lush. Usually that’s not the way we picture a desert, but the phenomenon is real.


A desert bloom is a climatic phenomenon that occurs in various deserts around the world. The phenomenon consists of the blossoming of a wide variety of flowers during early-mid spring in years when rainfall is unusually high. The blossoming occurs when the unusual level of rainfall reaches seeds and bulbs that have been in a latent or dormant state, and causes them to germinate and flower in early spring. It is accompanied by the proliferation of insects, birds and small species of lizards. (Wikipedia)

Bloom in Chilean Desert – photo by Javier Rubilar

Isaiah preached during tough times — real “desert” times for Israel. He uses the image of the luxuriant desert bloom to encourage his listeners that, despite their dire circumstances (the Assyrian occupation followed by the Babylonian captivity), there is hope.

But it is hard to hope and believe when you haven’t yet seen the flowers, right? Some of Isaiah’s audience may have seemed a little “weak kneed” about launching out on the journey when the horizon still looked pretty dry and lifeless.


    Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
        make firm the knees that are weak,
    Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
        Be strong, fear not!
    Here is your God,
        Who comes with vindication;
    With divine recompense
        God comes to save you.

Isaiah 35:3-4

I know I’ve felt weak-kneed at times, both literally and figuratively — those times when we are afraid to walk, to step forward or back, to move around or toward what we should. I’ll bet some of you have felt that way too.

At those times, we’re a little bit like the paralyzed man in today’s Gospel. We need courage, the help of good friends, and faith in God in order to stand up and walk on our own. Jesus wants to help us just like he helped this young man.

That you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
Jesus said to the one who was paralyzed,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” 

He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God. 

Luke 5:24-25

Advent invites us to journey
into deep faith and spiritual freedom,
to trust the desert for its flowers,
to believe that God lovingly wills
our vigor and wholeness.
 

The LORD himself will give his benefits;
    our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
    and salvation, along the way of his steps.

Today’s Psalm 85: 13-14

Poetry: I Walked in a Desert – Stephen Crane

I walked in a desert.
And I cried,
“Ah, God, take me from this place!”
A voice said, “It is no desert.”
I cried, “Well, But —
The sand, the heat, the vacant horizon.”
A voice said, “It is no desert.”

Music: Desert Flower – Biljana Obradovic Bixy

4 thoughts on “The Holy Way

  1. Clare Michel Smith

    Your posts have added a whole new dimension to my morning prayers. Your reflections are wonderful, the poetry inspiring and the music is reflective at times and sometimes just FUN! Thank you for the time and effort you spend preparing these daily gems.
    PS – Judy Ward was my husband’s grammar school teacher. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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