Shout for joy, barren one who has borne no children! Break into cries and shouts of joy, you who were never in labour! For the children of the forsaken one are more in number than the children of the wedded wife, says Yahweh. Widen the space of your tent, extend the curtains of your home, do not hold back! Lengthen your ropes, make your tent-pegs firm, for you will burst out to right and to left, your race will dispossess the nations and repopulate deserted towns. Do not fear, you will not be put to shame again, do not worry, you will not be disgraced again; for you will forget the shame of your youth and no longer remember the dishonour of your widowhood. For your Creator is your husband, Yahweh Sabaoth is his name, the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer, he is called God of the whole world. Yes, Yahweh has called you back like a forsaken, grief-stricken wife, like the repudiated wife of his youth, says your God. I did forsake you for a brief moment, but in great compassion I shall take you back. In a flood of anger, for a moment I hid my face from you. But in everlasting love I have taken pity on you, says Yahweh, your redeemer. For me it will be as in the days of Noah when I swore that Noah’s waters should never flood the world again. So now I swear never to be angry with you and never to rebuke you again. For the mountains may go away and the hills may totter, but my faithful love will never leave you, my covenant of peace will never totter, says Yahweh who takes pity on you.
Beginning tomorrow, we will listen to and meditate on the wonderful Advent antiphons (also called “major antiphons” or “O antiphons”), which will accompany us until the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord.
From today’s reading, we take with us the wonderful promise that God will no longer be angry with us, and we engrave in our hearts this glorious affirmation: “The mountains may go away and the hills may totter, but my faithful love will never leave you, my covenant of peace will never totter, says Yahweh who takes pity on you.”
This word of compassion has come into the world, because “The Word became flesh, he lived among us” (Jn 1:14). He comes to meet us in the Child of Bethlehem and extends his arms to us. He tells us not to pass by His love; that God no longer hides His face from us, for the “Lord of hosts” and the “God of the whole earth” is present in His tender smile.
With great compassion, the Lord draws His own to Himself, and the call of His love is again to resound in the orb of the earth.
To all of you who listen to me, I ask you to rekindle within you the fire of the Holy Spirit. Be fervent in following the Lord and in proclaiming the Gospel. In the midst of the confusion of these times, people need the light of the Gospel, the message of hope. Do not be discouraged! This is the hour of the Lord, the hour of salvation! God offers conversion to every person. Tell them so! Precisely now, when people lack shepherds to guide them, we must be “our brothers’ keepers” (cf. Gen 4:9), so that they do not succumb to the great deception which, with false promises, in reality causes people to fall into dependency. The real answer to the present crisis is conversion!
Over the next few days, the daily meditations will be a little different than usual. The emphasis will not be so much on doctrinal content, but on interiorisation and sacred music. We – that is, the members of Harpa Dei and our spiritual family – ask the Lord to make this Christmas particularly beautiful, and we want to do everything in our hands to glorify the Lord together with you and to deeply welcome the gift of His coming into the world. Please pray for us, that we may be receptive to God’s holy presence, so that our meditations and songs may touch many people and bring them God’s consolation. He has not forgotten mankind! Let us say it in every possible way, always in love and in truth!
Our Church must once again become a Church that proclaims. She has been entrusted with the salvation that Christ obtained for us, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). “Widen the space of your tent, extend the curtains of your home, do not hold back! Lengthen your ropes, make your tent-pegs firm, for you will burst out to right and to left, your race will dispossess the nations and repopulate deserted towns.”
Let us not inhale the spirit of this world, let us not absorb the poison of the dragon, nor the pernicious odour of error; let us turn away from relativism and modernism, let us leave behind lukewarmness and turn to Him who alone can truly fill our hearts.
Let us bear witness to the One who was born in Bethlehem and who will come again on the clouds of heaven!