Sun, 9 December 2018
(Is.35:1-10; Ps.85:9-14,Is.35:4; Lk.5:17-26)
“A highway will be there, called the holy way.”
Jesus is the highway; holy is He! He is the stream that “will burst forth in the desert.” It is He who “strengthen[s] the hands that are feeble [and] make[s] firm the knees that are weak,” that they might walk along His way. It is He who forgives sins. For “no one unclean may pass over” the safe path He makes in the wilderness of this world, and He wishes to “give His benefits” to all of faith. “Near indeed is His salvation to those who fear Him.”
“Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing,” prophesies Isaiah. And Jesus says to the paralyzed man, “Get up! Take your mat with you and return to your house.” And what did the man do? “He picked up the mat he had been lying on and went home praising God.” “We have seen incredible things today!” the crowd exclaims in awe, for the great vision of the prophet Isaiah has come to pass before their eyes: before them is being set the path to paradise.
“Hear what the Lord proclaims,” brothers and sisters: “Justice shall walk before Him, and salvation, along the way of His steps.” Along His holy way “the redeemed will walk. Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy.” All those forgiven their sins will enter their homes praising God. Yes, the “desert and the parched land… will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song.” We once paralyzed in our sin, by His hand, by His word, along His holy way, shall walk once again.
He has come. “Here is your God, He comes with vindication; with divine recompense He comes to save you.” In Him “kindness and truth… meet, justice and peace… kiss.” In Him we are made whole by the breath of His mouth, by the words from His lips. And now we have “a journey to make.” Now there is a way to walk. Let us remain upon this highway. Let us preserve the healing He has brought to our bones. Let us now live in faith with our Lord.
O LORD, tear down the mountains of pride
and fill in the valleys of fear
that we might come to you on straight paths.
YHWH, how shall our flesh see your salvation? How shall we come to your glory, we poor, miserable creatures? Only because you call us to redemption. Only because you desire us to share in your heavenly majesty. And only if we make straight the way for your Son to come into our hearts.
O LORD, let us ever increase in knowledge of what is good and lasting, that we might be made pure and blameless for the day of Christ, that we might become as He is, blessed to be called your sons. O let us give glory and praise to you for such a blessing!
Restore our fortunes, dear God; may we who have been separated from you and sent into exile be brought back to your holy City, to your mountain. As on royal thrones let us be borne aloft to gaze upon your splendor and glory, O King of all the nations. Great things you have indeed done for us, for now our weeping is turned to joy and we enter your presence bearing great fruit. Alleluia!