Once again the voice of the Prophet Isaiah (61:1-2, 10-11) is heard on this Sunday of Advent. It is a familiar text, proclaimed each year at the Chrism Mass where the Holy Oils are blessed and consecrated for sacramental use in the coming year. It speaks of the mission of the anointed, which is to move the hearts of others beyond earthly realities to those which lift the spirit and reveal heavenly graces.
We often speak of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord that was at work in the creation of the world, inspired the prophets and patriarchs, brought about miraculous births, and empowered all those to whom God has found favor to do wondrous things! The Holy Spirt, who came upon John the Baptist and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon the Church at Pentecost, is the SAME Spirit that comes upon us! And so we pray:
Accompany with your blessing from this day forward, O Lord, those you have anointed with the Holy Spirit and nourished with the Sacraments of your Son, so that, with all difficulties overcome, they may gladden your Church by their holiness and, through their works and their charity, foster her growth in the world.
On Saturday, at 2:30pm, the final Penance Service of the Advent Season will take place in preparation for the coming Christmas Feasts.
May this third week of Advent endow us with the rich gifts of the Holy Spirit! May they make us rejoice in the nearness of our God as we prepare for his Second Coming in glory and Majesty!