Greetings on this the Monday of the Second Week of Advent
Readings: Is 35:1-10; PS 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14; Lk 5:17-26
Notes: The roads are unsafe to travel. Time and again plans are made then revised and then redrawn only to find the roads are unsafe to travel. For those without options, the road is the road, unsafe or not, it is the way they must travel.
UNHCR most recently estimated that, by the end of 2020, for the first time in recorded history, the number of people forcibly displaced is now 82.4 million, and over 26.4 million refugees.
The first reading from Isaiah, an early Deutero-Isaiah (second Isaiah), coming around the time of or after the Babylonian experience. Recounting the previous experiences of the Assyrian and Babylonian oppression and diaspora, the writer is expressing the beauty of home.
A safe home for the people.
Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.
A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
nor fools go astray on it.
No lion will be there,
nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it.
It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk.
It is the Lord who makes it so
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.
Our God will come to save us!
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
Behold the king will come, the Lord of the earth,
and he himself will lift the yoke of our captivity.
Refuges and migrants are on the unsafe road.
We must act as the LORD does in Isaiah 35.
- One day as Jesus was teaching
- And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed
- But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd
- they went up on the roof
- and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles
- into the middle in front of Jesus.
Injury and illness makes you Unclean.
There was no room for them.
There is no remedy for them.
- “Blemished” people, that is, blind, diseased, lame, sick, et al.
- Samaritans, by virtue of their animus for each other.
- Women, because they menstruate.
- Certain Professions: Wool workers, tanners, prostitutes, herders
- Eaters of un-tithed food
- (Ritually) Unwashed people
- Even converts, to some extent
- “Sinner” anyone who broke the Law, hence:
- Those unable to read the Law – the poor
- Tax collectors
(from Preaching Paul – Deacon Summer Institute – June, 2017 – Fr. Bill Burton, ofm)
Refugees and migrants
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God.
It’s time to make a home for those without a home.
Peace be with you,