Daily Readings & Inspiration Daily

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

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Reading I Is 25:6-10a

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
    will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
    juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
    the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
    he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
    the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
    from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken.

    On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
    This is the LORD for whom we looked;
    let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R.    (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
    he refreshes my soul.
R.    I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
He guides me in right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
    I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
    that give me courage. 
R.    I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
    in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
R.    I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
    all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    for years to come.
R.    I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there. 
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others. 
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. 
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole, 
the lame walking, 
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat. 
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.” 
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?” 
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” 
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” 
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 
They all ate and were satisfied. 
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Long for Advent

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Ah, the early days of Advent and a new liturgical year. There is so much anticipation in the air of the great upcoming feast, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Church is brimming with hope as we, her people – the Body of Christ – ready our hearts for the coming of the Lord Jesus at Christmas. 

Advent serves a two-fold purpose for us. I just mentioned the first as a time of remembrance of Jesus’ birth at Christmas, but that’s not the only one. Advent is also a time for us to turn our hearts and prepare for His second coming at the end of time. 

We see themes of hope and longing, repentance and preparation during this liturgical season. We celebrate a Sunday of joy in Gaudete Sunday. There is so much that the season of Advent can do for our spiritual lives if we fully embrace and enter into these next few weeks, and that could be its own separate blog post. 

Let’s take a look at the theme of longing, though, through the eyes of today’s First Reading. The Book of the prophet Isaiah is laden with prophecies of the coming Messiah in addition to many words about how much the people of Israel long for said Messiah. With that being said, Isaiah is a frequent flier in the Mass readings during Advent and today’s First Reading is no different. 

Everything that is spoken about in the First Reading points to Jesus Christ as the long-awaited Messiah. The mountain on which he “will destroy the veil that veils all people” and on which he “will destroy death forever” points toward Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified. The veil of the temple was indeed torn in two when Jesus became triumphant over death and opened the gates of Heaven for us all. It is that same crucified body that he offers us in the Eucharist – his whole Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – which points toward the feast of rich foods and choice wines. There is truly no better food for our souls than the Eucharist. 

How can longing direct your Advent? Are you longing for consumerism, for the things of this world or are you longing for the Lord? How will you act on your longings? Turn them over to the Lord as you prepare your heart and make room for Jesus in this holy season. 

Contact the author

Erin Madden is a Cleveland native and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is passionate about the Lord Jesus, all things college sports and telling stories and she is blessed enough to get paid for all three of her passions. You can catch her on old episodes of the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter@erinmadden2016.

Feature Image Credit: Robert Thiemann, https://unsplash.com/photos/qHVqCxmAWd0

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