Friday 8 December 2023

Jesus heals two blind men. One of set of mosaics on the North side of the Monreal Cathedral, Sicily. 12th-13th century.

Isaiah 29:17-24

Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
become a fruitful field,
and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
On that day the deaf shall hear
the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind shall see.
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
For the tyrant shall be no more,
and the scoffer shall cease to be;
all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—
those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
no longer shall his face grow pale.
For when he sees his children,
the work of my hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
and those who grumble will accept instruction.

Psalm 27.9-17

9 O Lord, hear my voice when I cry:
   have mercy upon me and answer me.
10 My heart has said of you, 'Seek his face':
   your face, Lord, I will seek.
11 Do not hide your face from me:
   or thrust your servant aside in displeasure;
12 For you have been my helper:
   do not cast me away or forsake me, O God of my salvation.
13 Though my father and my mother forsake me:
   the Lord will take me up.
14 Teach me your way, O Lord:
   and lead me in an even path, for they lie in wait for me.
15 Do not give me over to the will of my enemies:
   for false witnesses have risen against me, and those who breathe out violence.
16 But I believe that I shall surely see the goodness of the Lord:
   in the land of the living.
17 O wait for the Lord; stand firm and he will strengthen your heart:
   and wait, I say, for the Lord.

Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you.’ And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, ‘See that no one knows of this.’ But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district.

Advent Psalm, by Edward Hays.

Awaken, my heart,
God's reign is near;
the Peaceable Kingdom
is in my hands.
If the wolf can be the guest of the lamb,
and the bear and cow be friends,
then no injury or hate can be a guest
within the kingdom of my heart.
Eden's peace and harmony will only return
when first, in my heart,
there hides no harm or ruin,
for the Peaceable Kingdom is in my hands.
Isaiah's dream became Iesus’ vision:
”Come, follow me,” Emmanuel’s echo rings
"Reform your life, recover Eden's peace,”
for only then will salvation appear.
For Advent’s dream is the healing of Earth,
when the eagle and bear become friends,
the child and the serpent playmates.
Arise, awaken, my heart,
the Peaceable Kingdom
is in your hands.
Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim.
Notre Dame: Forest of Peace, 2008.

Blessèd are you, Sovereign God,
our light and our salvation;
to you be glory and praise for ever!
May we who walk in the light of your presence
acclaim your Christ, rising victorious,
as he banishes all darkness from our hearts and minds,
and praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessèd be God for ever!
Celebrating Common prayer.

Ukrainian carol Бог предвічний (Boh predvichnyi = God is eternal)
— sung by Драйвові Хлопці (Drayvovi Khloptsi) in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Sudova Vyshnya in the west of Ukraine, close to Poland.

— and played by German harpist Eva Curth as part of a project to teach her students a new Christmas song each day in Advent.

Бог предвічний народився,
Прийшов днесь із небес,
Щоб спасти люд свій весь,
І утішився.

В Вифлеємі народився,
Месія, Христос наш,
І пан наш, для всіх нас,
Нам народився.

Ознаймив це Ангел Божий
Наперед пастирям,
А потім звіздарям
І земним звірям.

Діва Сина як породила,
Звізда ста, де Христа
Невіста Пречиста
Сина зродила.

Тріє царі несуть дари
До Вифлеєм-міста,
Де Діва Пречиста
Сина повила.

Звізда їм ся об'явила,
В дорозі о Бозі,
При волі, при ослі
Їм ознаймила.

"Тріє царі, де ідете?"
"Ми ідем в Вифлеєм,
Вінчуєм спокоєм
І повернемся."

Іншим путем повернули,
Погану, безстидну,
Безбожну Іроду
Не повідали.

Йосифові Ангел мовить:
З Дитятком і з Матков,
З бидлятком, ослятком
Хай ся хорониить.

"Слава Богу!" – заспіваймо,
Честь Сину Божому
Господеви нашому –
Поклін віддаймо.

God eternal is born this day,
He has come from above, )
To save all humankind, )
And was greatly pleased. ) 2x

In Bethlehem He is born this day,
Messiah, the Christ child,
And a Lord for us all,
For us has been born.

Heralding this God's angels
Formost to the shepherds,
And then the stargazers,
and all earthly creatures.

When the virgin did give birth,
The star had stood, where Christ
The bethrothed pure one
Gave birth to her son.

Three Kings bring gifts
To Bethlehem - town,
Where the pure Virgin
Swadles her newborn son.

A star to them has revealed,
The Godly road,
By camel, by donkey
they were informed.

"O Three kings, where do you go?"
"We all go to Bethlehem,
There Seeking peace
And then we'll return."

Another road they returned,
The wicked, shameless,
Godless king Herod
They did not inform.

To Joseph the Angel spoke:
With the child and his mother,
With a colt, and donkey
Do you them protect,

"Glory to God" — let us all sing,
Honoring, worshiping 'the
Son of God and our Lord
Let us honour bring.