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Advent – Saturday, First Week

December 7, 2019

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Scripture for Today

When we seek comfort, what are we seeking? What do we want to hear?

Spirituality is often a source of comfort. In times of hurt, we turn to our belief systems- whether to draw strength from them or to question them. There are as many spiritual approaches to pain as there are people who’ve sought a spiritual approach to pain. Some focus on the insignificance of pain in the face of a greater power, while others emphasize the virtue of remaining stoic through the pain- always turning the other cheek, never buckling under the burdens we are handed.

CaminoStreetIn today’s reading from Isaiah, there’s another approach- acknowledging the pain for what it is. In the midst of words of reassurance, a few lines take a dark turn: great slaughter, falling towers, open wounds. Startling though they may be, these verses give us space to hurt, and even space to hold God accountable for our hurting- to acknowledge that God has bruised us. A popular Christian story talks about footprints in the sand, presenting the concept that God has carried us through all the roughest patches in our lives. Here in these verses, though, we can admit that He may have dropped us once or twice.

So what to do with the pain and the bruises? Wait for the day of reckoning, for the sun to blaze and God to come down and right all wrongs?

Today’s Gospel reading could give us another option: action. Jesus sees the crowd, troubled and abandoned, and sends out his laborers among them to

cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.

Jesus sees the people’s pain as clearly as it is written in Isaiah. As great of a public speaker as he is, his reaction isn’t to tell the crowds a comforting story, or to make promises of a better world to come- he organizes his followers to address the pain he’s recognized. Some days, we will be the suffering crowds. Some days, we will be the workers helping. Some days, we must be both.

Dana Schiewe

Let the day come, O God, when our misery will meet your mercy.
Let the day come, O God, when our poverty will find your riches.
Let your mercy rain down upon us, O God.
Without your love, we are fainthearted.
May we walk as children of light; may we walk in the footsteps of Jesus. 


Find writers’ bios here.
Photographs by Theresa Ruttger. Graphic design by Baya Clare CSJ. Before copying or using any text or images from this site, please contact bayathread(at)gmail(dot)com for permission.
Some material on this site is adapted from Daily Prayer, Daily Bread, published by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille in 2004, and is used with the permission of the Editor and Project Director, Eleanor Bernstein CSJ.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2019 3:37 am

    The photograph seems to be of Puente la Reina on the Camino de Compostela. Is this the case?

    Nice post. Thank you.

  2. Connie permalink
    December 7, 2019 8:49 am

    Thank you for that way of looking at pain – action, and that sometimes we are the suffering crowd, sometimes the workers, and sometimes both. This was helpful.

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