In the liturgical readings of the season of advent the book of Isaiah has a prominent place. Especially the passage, (Isa 40:1-11) in which we read about the voice which commands the herald of good tidings to “Cry out.” It is a solemn command to announce the good news of the redemption to the Israelites who were in the Babylonian captivity.
The Herald of the good tidings is told to comfort the distressed and discouraged people in captivity with the good news of forgiveness their trespasses and liberty from their slavery. The climax of this good news is the message “Here is your God” (Isa 40: 9).
The people are asked to respond to this good news by a new way of life; “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain” (Isa 40:3-4).
They are also reminded that human glory, wealth and power are not real values at all, since they have no standing in God’s sight; All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades…but the word of our God will stand forever (Isa 40:6-8).
This passage is very significant and meaningful in the advent season, when we read and reflect it in the light of incarnation of Jesus. In Jesus, this “good news” is fulfilled and in Him “the herald of good news” and “good news” became one. Jesus began his public ministry by saying; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Lk418-19). Let us respond to Him with a new way of life giving more priority to his words.
About the Author:
Fr. Binoy Puthusery, C.M. is a Vincentian priest belonging to the Southern Indian Province. He was ordained as priest on December 27, 2008 and soon after served as an assistant parish priest in Tanzania. In 2011, after two years of ministry, he was appointed as Spiritual Director to the Vincentian Sisters of Mercy, Mbinga Tanzania. He currently lives in Barakaldo (Spain), and is a teacher in the Masters in Vincentian Studies.