Wednesday of the First Week of Advent - 4th December
On this mountain, for all peoples, the Lord is preparing a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of succulent food, of well-strained wines.
On this mountain, he has destroyed the veil which used to veil all peoples, the pall enveloping all nations;
he has destroyed death for ever. The Lord has wiped away the tears from every cheek; he has taken his people's shame away everywhere on earth, for the Lord has spoken.
And on that day, it will be said, 'Look, this is our God, in him we put our hope that he should save us, this is the Lord, we put our hope in him. Let us exult and rejoice since he has saved us.' For the Lord's hand will rest on this mountain.
Once again we are reminded that Advent is a season of waiting, or preparation. We are preparing to receive the wonderful Good News - the birth of our Saviour, our Redeemer, but also, and this is very much forgotten, our Friend, and our Brother, Jesus. What strikes me about this reading is the invitation from God for us all to draw closer to Him, not only during this beautiful season of Advent, but at every moment in our lives. We listen to how “he has destroyed the veil which used to veil all peoples...he has destroyed death for ever” - this is our hope. We are no longer going to be led to death, but to life - as death has been destroyed, we could say that the coming of Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom has brought about the undoing and forgiving of the due punishment mentioned in Isaiah 24:17-20.
If you take a look at some of the symbolism behind this passage, you may realise some interesting connections - “wine” is often a symbol of celebration and rejoicing - the first miracle was not one of healing or bringing the dead to life, but that of turning water into wine (see the Wedding at Cana - John 2:1-25).
The “veil” can be seen as something which covers us, hides from us the full picture, the entire panorama that lies beyond what first meets the eye at first sight. In a way, we are relieved of this burden as this “veil” has been destroyed, so we have the opportunity to see what is really in front of us, for what it is - to discover the Truth. We are lifted from this ‘spiritual blindness’ that this “veil” had impressed on us, and we are now able to live freely in Truth, knowing God for who He is, and not some human impression we might create of Him.
Advent Advantage: Think about areas of our faith you don't know as well or areas that you struggle with. Make an effort to learn about these areas and deepen your understanding of our faith.