My salvation will come
Third Week of Advent: Friday
Reading: Isaiah 56: 1-3, 6-8
Thus says the Lord: Have a care for justice, act with integrity, for soon my salvation will come and my integrity be manifest.
Blessed is the man who does this and the son of the man who clings to it: observing the sabbath, not profaning it, and keeping from every evil deed.
Let no foreigner who has attached himself to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.’ Let no eunuch say, ‘And I, I am a dried-up tree.’
Foreigners who have attached themselves to the Lord serve him and to love his name and to be his servants – all who observe the sabbath, not profaning it, and cling to my covenant – these I will bring to my holy mountain. I will make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their holocausts and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, for my house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.
It is the Lord who speaks, who gathers the outcasts of Israel: there are others I will gather beside those already gathered.
In this lovely reading of great salvific promise, we see where God asks his people to live in a way that truly honours him and prepares the world for his coming. It is echoed later by the prophet Micah where he writes,
‘this is what Yahweh asks of you:
only this, to act justly,
to love tenderly
and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:8
He promises that all who live in his way will be blessed by him. No unholy thought or action will have any place in their lives. All will be consecrated to him. The sabbath will be held as holy, a day given over to the Lord. Those who do not yet know the Lord will be sought out and invited into his covenant of love. Prayer will be the hallmark of their lives. Called to a new and joyful life each one will love and serve him and each other. We have been freely gifted by this relationship of love through our baptism and sacraments of the church. May the graces that we have received unfold and direct our lives to the love and service of God and each other for his greater glory.