WORD of the DAY
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up! I, the LORD, have created this.
(Is 45, 8; 18; 21)
Isaiah is the prophet of the Old Testament who has the greatest number of texts in the readings of the Advent Liturgy, the prophet par excellence of this liturgical time. In the first reading today, he offers us the luminous texts that warm the heart and open the eyes on panoramas of light and life that are characteristic of this Advent season. Today’s passage contains a heartfelt request that is in perfect harmony with the state of soul of this third week of Advent. It is for this reason that this cry of the soul has been taken by tradition as the refrain of a celebrated Gregorian chant that is sung during the Christmas Novena: ‘like gentle rain let the skies drop it down; let justice also spring up!’
The Prophet gives vent to this intimate longing aspiration for a prodigious heavenly intervention, fully convinced of the divine origin of Justice, a divine name for God. Yes, because if God does not intervene, we are all hopelessly lost. It is interesting to note that this prodigious intervention is not described as usually happens in other prophetic oracles or in Apocalyptic Literature, with blurred tinges of belligerent events and cosmic catastrophes. This instead, is implored quietly, with the reassuring characteristics of a light rain and a fertile dew. These delicate images are appropriate for the mystery of the Incarnation and for Christmas that is not loud, but rather infinitely discreet, in the shadow of the Holy Spirit, just like gentle rain.
In this third week of Advent, I will find a place in my day for moments of silence and reflection to turn to the Lord with the prayer of Isaiah and thus prepare my heart to receive the coming of the Savior.
The Voice of a Messianic Psalm 72
May he be like rain coming down upon the fields,
like showers watering the earth,
That abundance may flourish in his days,
great bounty, till the moon be no more.