Wellspring of the Gospel


Second Sunday of Advent

First Reading: Isaiah 11: 1-10

Today’s Reading from Isaiah is the origin of the gifts of the Spirit. In fact, only six are mentioned - piety being added later (probably to make seven - a favourite number)

That apart, today’s Reading also gives a powerful image of what the coming of the One anointed in the Spirit will mean.

Here is the judge who judges fairly - the one who deals with the ruthless and wicked - whose life is characterised by faithfulness and integrity.

Such is the power of this Messiah that all Creation is drawn into unity. The predator and the prey will live in harmony side-by-side. Children will lead the way in living in complete safety and trust - no harm will come to them on the holy mountain of God.

And where will this Chosen One come from?

Isaiah says that a shoot will spring up from the stock of Jesse.

Like the winnowing in the Gospel, this is an unfamiliar image for many - though gardeners will recognise the effect of severe pruning going on here!

There are some plants that, if cut back severely look dead - and can look like that for some time. Then, usually in the spring, a shoot begins to emerge - and what seemed dead becomes alive. Such shoots are often extravagantly healthy and grow quickly...

So - the promise is that the root of Jesse (the father of David) which looked dead - would one day bring forth a new and vigorous shoot. In due course it did - the Messiah - the Chosen One - the Christ, Jesus.

What does it mean for me? 


When have you experienced things seeming to die - to become tired and lifeless - and then found a shoot of new life - new hope?

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