Third Sunday of Advent
Isaiah directed his words to a suffering people, lost in a wilderness of self-indulgence, caring little for others. He spoke of punishment and suffering, of justice for those who have caused pain to others. And he spoke of comfort.
The wilderness will rejoice and blossom. …the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.
When Mary visited Elizabeth, the soon to be mother of John the Baptizer, she gave a prophecy that Isaiah might have uttered. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts…. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
Jesus, the Messiah, he who had begun to form in Mary even as she met Elizabeth and the yet to be born John, gave comfort to John as that great prophet languished in prison, awaiting his execution. Jesus did not claim anything that had not been promised centuries before by Isaiah and many others, all speaking the Word given to them by the God of the Word.
The blind see, the lame walk, lepers cured, the deaf hear, the dead raised. Take comfort John. You have done a mighty deed. Accept the Peace of God.
Be righteous and do good.