Today's reading from Isaiah continues the theme of the wasteland, the dry and parched wilderness, but we also have God's assurance He will provide better times: "I will turn the wilderness into a marshland and the dry ground into springs of water." During Advent, we await the "springs of water." Our Gospel reading picks up the water theme, featuring John the Baptist. "All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John," and then he appeared baptizing with water. John's baptism presaged the "living water" (John 4:10) we have in Jesus. In Jesus, we live eternally, never thirsting for spiritual refreshment.
17The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain,
their tongues are parched with thirst.
I, the Lord, will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18I will open up rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the broad valleys;
I will turn the wilderness into a marshland,
and the dry ground into springs of water.
19In the wilderness I will plant the cedar,
acacia, myrtle, and olive;
In the wasteland I will set the cypress,
together with the plane tree and the pine,
20That all may see and know,
observe and understand,
That the hand of the Lord has done this,
the Holy One of Israel has created it.
11Amen, I say to you, among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
12From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom
of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force.
13All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John.
14And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come.
15Whoever has ears ought to hear.
Click here for the Advent reflection for Dec. 10.
Click here for the Advent reflection for Dec. 12.