“For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.” —Isaiah 25:10
The Church begins the Advent season by taking us up a mountain. On Sunday, we were told to “climb the Lord’s mountain” (Is 2:3). There we will receive God’s Word and God’s peace. Yesterday the Lord promised: “There shall be no harm or ruin on all My holy mountain” (Is 11:9). This will be done by the Holy Spirit resting on and working through the Messiah and His followers. Today the Lord promises: “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples a feast of rich food and choice wines … On this mountain He will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; He will destroy death forever” (Is 25:6, 7-8).
Where is this mountain upon which the needs of all peoples will be met and death will be destroyed? Jesus intimated that He knew the answer to this question when “He went up onto the mountainside” (Mt 15:29), healed the sick, and multiplied the loaves and fish to feed the masses (Mt 15:38). Yet even at Multiplication Mountain Jesus did not provide the needs for all people and destroy death. He did that on the mountain of Calvary. Here He provided the offer of salvation for every human being, rent the veil between God and humanity (Mt 27:51), and destroyed death (see 1 Cor 15:26). The mountain of Advent prefigures Mount Calvary.
PRAYER: Jesus, I choose to walk up the mountain with You even if I must go by way of the cross.
PROMISE: “Behold our God, to Whom we looked to save us!” –Is 25:9
PRAISE: St. John of Damascus wrote multiple homilies on the “Dormition,” the passing of the Virgin Mary from earthly life. These teachings aid in tracing the historicity and development of the doctrine of the Assumption. He defended the Church’s understanding of the veneration of images, that is, icons and statues.