Thursday of Week 1 of Advent – First Reading

Commentary on Isaiah 26:1-6

Today’s reading is a psalm in praise of Zion. There is a strong contrast with what had been said in an earlier chapter (24:10-13):

The city of chaos is broken down;
every house is shut up so that no one can enter.
There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
all joy has reached its eventide;
the gladness of the earth is banished.
Desolation is left in the city;
the gates are battered into ruins.
For thus it shall be on the earth
and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is ended.

Contrast that with today’s upbeat statement:

We have a strong city;
he sets up walls and bulwarks as a safeguard.
Open the gates,
so that the righteous nation that maintains faithfulness
may enter in.

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