— Saint Francis Xavier —
Advent Week 1: Wednesday

“On that day it will be said: “Indeed, this is our God; we looked to him, and he saved us! This is the LORD to whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!” (Isaiah 25:9)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel, writes:

“You recognize the one who gives you joy to drink and wine in addition, anointing those in spiritual Zion with myrrh. You recognize that he is true God and Son of God by nature, and although he appeared in the form of a servant, by becoming man he became the source of salvation and life for all, being in all things like those on earth though without sin. The prophet indicates that they are all but pointing [to Christ] with their finger when they say, “Behold our God in whom we have hoped, and we will rejoice in our salvation.” I think that this text applies especially to the Israelites who were nurtured in the words of Moses and were not ignorant of the predictions of the holy prophets. They waited for the time of the coming of the Savior and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, as I have already said, Zechariah the father of John [the Baptizer] when he prophesied in the Spirit said of Christ, “He has raised up a horn of salvation.” And Simeon when he took the holy child in his arms said, “Behold, my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared before the face of all people.” Recognize then what had been announced of old, the one who is the hope of all, the Savior and Redeemer, they said, according to Isaiah, “Behold our God.”
They confess that God will give rest on this mountain. And it seems to me that mountain here refers to the church, for it is there that one finds rest. For we heard the words of Christ: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Commentary on Isaiah, 3)

Almighty and merciful God,
by whose gift Your faithful offer You
right and praiseworthy service,
grant, we pray,
that we may hasten without stumbling
to receive the things You have promised.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen