ADVENT, Week 2: Friday

“If only you would attend to my commandments, your peace would be like a river, your vindication like the waves of the sea ...” (Isaiah 48:18.)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“Set before yourself any river. It springs from its fountain but is of one nature, of one brightness and beauty. And you assert rightly that the Holy Spirit is of one substance, brightness and glory with the Son of God and with God the Father. I will sum up everything in the oneness of the qualities without any dispute over degrees of greatness. For in this point also Scripture has provided for us. For the Son of God says, “Whoever shall drink of the water that I will give him, it shall become in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.” This well is clearly the grace of the Spirit, a stream proceeding from the living Fountain. The Holy Spirit, then, is also the fountain of eternal life.

You observe, then, from his words that the unity of the divine greatness is pointed out and that Christ cannot be denied to be a fountain even by heretics, since the Spirit, too, is called a fountain. The Spirit is called a river, too, just as the Father said, “Behold, I come down on you like a river of peace, and like a stream overflowing the glory of the Gentiles.” And who can doubt that the Son of God is the river of life from whom the streams of eternal life flowed forth?” (On the Holy Spirit, 1)

Grant that Your people,
we pray, almighty God,
may be ever watchful
for the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
that, as the author of our salvation
Himself has taught us,
we may hasten, alert and with lighted lamps,
to meet him when He comes.
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