Every year during Advent, we read from the prophet Isaiah in the first Mass reading each day. Isaiah is one of the great prophets of Advent, a man invited by God to speak His word, to tell the people what it is that God wants from them. To challenge the people to be more than they have been.
Todays’ first reading is a passage that holds a special place in my heart. It is the passage I read at the Mass of Transferral for my dear friend Fr. Don Shane, who died in 1993, and was also one of the readings that we picked to for my father’s funeral mass later that same year. It is a passage that fills me with hope and confidence. It is the promise that, notwithstanding all the suffering and all the tears, God ultimately will make all things well.
I memorized the passage at the time I was preparing to read it at Don’s Mass of Transferral and I love the words too much to paraphrase them or add anything to them. So let me just share them:
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, The web that is woven over all nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord GOD will wipe away the tears from all faces; The reproach of his people he will remove from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.
On that day it will be said: “Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”