As we begin the third week of Advent, we see that the Lord has passed His judgment on Israel, whose obedience to His Word is, at best, merely out of habit. Indeed, many of the children of Israel no longer even acknowledge Him as Lord. Therefore, the gospel will be preached to all nations by Christ.
As we await the birth of Christ at Christmas, we also look forward to His Second Coming and, in the words of the Creed, "the life of the world to come." In the reading for the third Monday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of that world: no more hunger; no more pain; the Lord Himself living with us; man and the earth completely healed.
At His Second Coming, Christ will not only reign over all the earth; but all the powers of the earth will be destroyed. In this reading for the third Tuesday of Advent, the Lord destroys Assyria, which stands for the powers of men.
In this reading for the third Wednesday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah tell us that, at the Second Coming, Christ will establish perfect justice. Those who are evil and deceitful will no longer get their way. In the world to come, the just man can live free from the distractions of sin.
In the reading for the third Thursday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah once again describes the coming of the Lord. We believe that Christ comes twice: first, at Christmas; and second, at the end of time. These prophecies of the reign of the Lord began to be fulfilled when Christ was born and brought new life into the world; they will be completed at His Second Coming.
As the third week of Advent draws to a close, the prophecy of Isaiah shifts more completely to the coming of the Lord at the end of time. In this reading for the third Friday of Advent, the earth will be cleansed with fire, and only the just man will emerge. He will live in the eternal Jerusalem, ruled by Christ.
As we enter the second week of Advent, we continue reading from the book of theProphet Isaiah. In today's selection, the Lord calls on the inhabitants of Jerusalem—those who have been saved—to mourn for their past sins, yet they continue to celebrate. They aren't thankful to God for saving them, and thus the Lord vows to humble them.
True repentance means conforming ourselves to the way of the Lord. In this reading for the second Monday of Advent from the Prophet Isaiah, we see the Lord overturning all of human society, because of the sins and transgressions of the people. To be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, we must humble ourselves.
Isaiah prophesied not only about the coming of Christ as a child in Bethlehem, but about the final reign of Christ as King over all the earth. In this selection for the second Tuesday of Advent, Isaiah tells us of the final judgment.
Yesterday, we read of the final judgment of God on the actions of men; today, in the reading for the second Wednesday of Advent, we hear the promise of Christ's reign over all the nations. The earth will be remade; death shall be destroyed; and men shall live in peace. The humble and the poor will be exalted, but the haughty will be humbled.
Earlier in the second week of Advent, Isaiah has shown us the judgment of the Lord, and the establishment of His reign on earth. On the second Thursday of Advent, we hear from the just man, who does not fear the justice of the Lord or complain about his own punishment, but looks forward to the resurrection from the dead.
The Lord, Isaiah prophesied, would destroy the vineyard—the house of Israel—because His Chosen People had abandoned Him. In this reading for the second Friday of Advent, however, the Lord restores the vineyard and gathers the just to worship Him in Jerusalem, the symbol of Heaven. The "children of Israel" are now all the faithful.
As the second week of Advent draws to a close, Isaiah once again prophesies the Lord's judgment upon Jerusalem. In this reading for the second Saturday of Advent, we see that His judgment will be swift and overwhelming, like a horde of nations descending in war.
On the first Sunday of Advent, we read the beginning of the book of Isaiah, where the prophet speaks in the voice of God and calls the people of Israel to repentance, to prepare them for the coming of His Son. But the Old Testament people of Israel also represents the New Testament Church, so the call to repentance applies to us as well.
In the reading for the first Monday of Advent, the Prophet Isaiah continues to call Israel to account, and God reveals His plan to remake Israel, purifying her so that she will be the shining city on a hill, toward which men of all nations will turn. This remade Israel is the Church of the New Testament, and it is Christ's coming that remakes Her.
The Prophet Isaiah continues the theme of the judgment of Israel in the reading for the first Tuesday of Advent. Because of the sins of the people, God will humble Israel, and only the "bud of the Lord"—Christ—will shine in glory.
In this passage for the first Wednesday of Advent, Isaiah discusses the vineyard that the Lord has built—the house of Israel. The passage calls to mind Christ's parable of the vineyard, in which the vineyard owner sends his only son to oversee the vineyard, and the workers in the vineyard kill him, foreshadowing Christ's own death.
In this reading for the first Thursday of Advent, we see Isaiah prophesying the purification of Old Testament Israel. The Chosen People have squandered their inheritance, and now God is opening the door of salvation to all nations. Israel survives, as the New Testament Church; and over her sits a just judge, Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Isaiah continues with his theme of the conversion of nations in the reading for the first Friday of Advent. With the coming of Christ, salvation is no longer confined to Israel. Egypt, whose enslavement of the Israelites represented the darkness of sin, will be converted, as will Assyria. Christ's love encompasses all nations, and all are welcome in the New Testament Israel, the Church.
Isaiah's prophecy foretells the coming of Christ, and of His triumph over sin. In the reading for the first Saturday of Advent, Babylon, the symbol of sin and idolatry, has fallen. Like the watchman, in this Advent we wait for the triumph of the Lord.