ADVENT, Week 1: Monday



“When the Lord washes away the filth of the daughters of Zion, And purges Jerusalem’s blood from her midst with a blast of judgment, a searing blast...” (Isaiah 4:4.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“When one has recognized the differences in sins, one can see how the Lord says in Isaiah, “The Lord will wash away the filth of the sons and daughters of Zion and will cleanse the blood from their midst by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning.” Filth is washed away by a spirit of judgment. Blood is washed away by a spirit of burning. Even if you have not committed a sin that leads to death, you have still sinned and have thereby become filthy. The Lord will wash away the filth of the sons and daughters of Zion, and he will cleanse the blood from among them. A spirit of judgment will be the recompense for filth, and a spirit of burning will be a recompense for the blood. Whenever we commit heinous sins, we do not need lye or washing with soap; rather we need the spirit of burning.” (Homilies on Jeremiah, 2.)




Collect
Keep us alert, we pray, O Lord our God,
as we await the advent of Christ your Son,
so that, when he comes and knocks,
he may find us watchful in prayer
and exultant in his praise.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.



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