Isa 56:1-3, 6-8
Thus says the Lord: Make fair judgement your concern, act with justice, for soon my salvation will come and my saving justice be manifest. Blessed is anyone who does this, anyone who clings to it, observing the Sabbath, not profaning it, and abstaining from every evil deed. No foreigner adhering to the Lord should say, ‘The Lord will utterly exclude me from his people.’ No eunuch should say, ‘Look, I am a dried-up tree.’ As for foreigners who adhere to the Lord to serve him, to love the Lord’s name and become his servants, all who observe the Sabbath, not profaning it, and cling to my covenant: these I shall lead to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples. The Lord who gathers the exiles of Israel declares: There are others I shall gather besides those already gathered.
Before beginning the meditations on the O Antiphons, which begin tomorrow and prepare us for the Birth of our Savior, we read in the Prophet Isaiah what is the process to be followed for those strangers who want to join God’s chosen people.
The first exhortations are addressed to everyone in general. The people must observe the Sabbath and follow the precepts and instructions of the Lord. Only in this way will humanity live in the right order before God. Deviation from His holy Law, on the other hand, will darken their lives.
Next, the Lord addresses the strangers who have joined Him. If they fulfill all that God expects of His people, then the Lord will also be pleased with them and will grant them the same graces that He grants to the Jews, making them sharers in the promises. They can come to His Temple, to His “house of prayer”.
What we heard in this reading continues to apply in the times of the New Covenant. Those who are still strangers and far away are called to welcome the grace of God offered to them in Christ Jesus and to come in haste to His “holy mountain”. They will be inserted into the People of God if they fulfill the commandments and precepts of God in the same way as those who already know and live the Law of the New Covenant.
This is the pre-established condition for truly incorporating all into the way of salvation. The attraction of love and truth, which must emanate from the Church, calls people to follow Christ, and in Him arises true unity and brotherhood among people. If they follow this call, they will receive all that God has prepared for them.
Therefore, the faithful must not allow themselves to be carried away by false concepts of unity, which do not correspond to the way that God has prepared for them. I have spoken of this in many daily meditations and conferences, because time and again we run the risk of cooperating in the building of a Tower of Babel (Gen 11:1-9) and seeking a unity that is not grounded in God.
Our mission is to proclaim with words and with our witness of life the manifold grace of Christ, thus inviting people to set out on the way to the “holy mountain” of God. The true renewal of the Church will be brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit and will become visible especially in those who consciously walk the path of holiness. The Church cannot have as guides and referents the world and the spirit of the times. The currents that want to adapt the Church to the spirit of the world, instead of making her more and more like Christ and the Virgin Mary, are in grave error.
Before concluding, I would like to thank all those who have prayed for my speedy recovery. Thanks be to God, I am already feeling much better. I hope that the meditations of the next few days on the O Antiphons will prepare us to celebrate the Feast of the Birth of Our Lord with great joy. The emphasis of these meditations will not be so much on doctrinal content, but on interiorization and sacred music.