First Reading today: Isaiah 35: 1-10
"The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened; Be strong, fear not! Here is your God. He comes with vindication; with divine recompense, he comes to save you. then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared. Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools and the thirsty ground, springs of water. the abode where the jackals lurk, will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way. No one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make an on it the redeemed will walk. Those whom the Lord has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing crowned with everlasting joy. They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee"
"Fear not, here is your God" those words of the prophet Isaiah are so comforting- this passage is filled with the joy of God's coming and presence. The imitation of Christ says, where there is a joyful heart, surely that is the pure of heart. Mother Teresa always told us, that joy is often a cloak that covers much suffering. A joyful person, has learned to suffer-has learned to love.
"I have found the paradox, that if I love until it hurts, then there is no more hurt, only more love", (Mother Teresa)