Advent 2016

Third Friday in Advent - December 16th

Is 56: 1-3, 6-8 // Ps 67: 2-3, 5, 7-8 // Jn 5: 33-36

Ibn Sina (Avicenna), a philosopher in the Medieval Hellenistic Islamic tradition, informs us that a prophet ‘must prescribe laws governing human affairs, in accordance with God’s will and authority.” (Kitab al-Najat) Isaiah, a prophet whom we hear in the first reading today, is one who does not shy away from that mission of announcing the LORD’s laws governing the affairs of Israel and then though the people of Isreal, to all of us.  There is advice which is given to public speakers, preachers and teachers which helps them to be effective in their mission.

 “Tell them what you are going to say, say it, and then tell them what you said.” The prophet Isaiah puts those words into practice as he proclaims a message from the LORD, “my salvation is about to come, my justice, about to be revealed.” (tell them what you are going to say)  Then, Isaiah announces the governing law of the LORD and the way in which that will happen, “observe what is right, do what is just” (say it).  Finally the prophet reminds us how the hearer of the word must be active participants in the continuation of bringing justice to the world (tell them what you said).   It is the third part, “tell them what you said” that is placed upon all believers during this time of patient waiting.  It is we who become the voice of the LORD, the voice of the prophet to tell the world what was said by God through the incarnation of his Son.   Let us use these days of advent to inspire us to discover where we are called to be a prophet announcing the governing laws of the LORD which direct us and help us to achieve what is right and just.

Fr. Joe Farrell, OSA
Vicar General – Order of Saint Augustine