Isaiah 45:6-8, 18,21-25
Luke 7:19-23


Our gospel today repeats our recent Sunday Gospel, so we are familiar with the ways it assists our Advent living and praying.  Our first reading from Isaiah contains one of the greater Gregorian Advent antiphons, “Let the heavens rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a saviour”.   “Rorate Coeli desuper..” in the Latin.  Something beautiful to listen to if you get the chance.

So often with our Australian climate, there have been times when seemingly endless droughts have had us praying desperately for the heavens to open and life-giving rain to pour down to water our parched and dry paddocks and pastures, the arid outback.  Sometimes the droughts go on for years, and we believe nothing can ever grow again, or the rivers flow again, or the lakes and dams are replenished.  And then, when the rain does come, miraculously, everything springs to life, 

Whatever we may thirst for – for ourselves, for loved ones in need, for a world parched for want of goodness, kindness and care – a baby born on stable straw is God’s promise that one day the heavens will open, and then life and love will pour down and flood the earth.

Christmas time is for kids, waiting for Christmas and remembering baby Jesus with angels and shepherds, lowing cattle and sheep and kings. Advent is for adults  – waiting and working for the world to be a better place and for peace on earth to be everywhere, every day for everyone.

Thomas McDonough CP is the current provincial of Holy Spirit Province of the Passionists.