In the early days of Advent, the readings speak of the mountain of the Lord, Mt. Zion, the house of the Lord, as the place where all of humanity will find the desire of their hearts.

On God’s holy mountain we will be fed and will know love, truth and justice. On this mountain we will find freedom from the darkness that hinders us in our earthly journey. We will find salvation!

My friends, this imagery of the Old Testament of the holy mountain, is the new and eternal Jerusalem of the New Testament. Jesus is the one who comes to establish the kingdom of God. Jesus is the one who gazes upon the crowd in today’s Gospel (Matthew 15:29-37) with compassion and heals them of their every affliction, the gravest of which is the forgiveness of our sins.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd of which Psalm 23 speaks. (Today’s Psalm)

In truth, the Church is the present reality of God’s holy mountain, where Christ still feeds, heals, and saves us.

Jesus, you are the One we have been looking for. The Church is your holy mountain, where you continue to provide for all our needs. The Church is your holy dwelling place and our home. Yet, the sins, crimes and poor governance of the shepherds have harmed rather than healed so many, and made it difficult for many to continue to believe that your Church is where you are found. And yet, you remain with us with the same compassion and gift of salvation. Heal us Lord. Renew our faith in you, our Church and your shepherds. Help us all to be faithful disciples, worthy servants, and credible witnesses to you. May this be your Advent blessing to us!