The 17th Day of Advent.
Does God intervene in human lives? Does he answer prayer?
Isaiah 38: 9-20
A writing of King Hezekiah of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:
I said: In the noontide of my days
I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
for the rest of my years.
I said, I shall not see the Lord
in the land of the living;
I shall look upon mortals no more
among the inhabitants of the world.
My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;
I cry for help until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
from day to night you bring me to an end.
Like a swallow or a crane I clamour,
I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upwards.
O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!
But what can I say? For he has spoken to me,
and he himself has done it.
All my sleep has fled
because of the bitterness of my soul.
O Lord, by these things people live,
and in all these is the life of my spirit.
O restore me to health and make me live!
Surely it was for my welfare
that I had great bitterness;
but you have held back my life
from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
behind your back.
For Sheol cannot thank you,
death cannot praise you;
those who go down to the Pit cannot hope
for your faithfulness.
The living, the living, they thank you,
as I do this day;
fathers make known to children
The Lord will save me,
and we will sing to stringed instruments
all the days of our lives,
at the house of the Lord.
O Radix Jesse: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.
who at your Son’s first coming sent your messenger
to prepare the way before him:
grant that the ministers and stewards of your mysteries
may likewise so prepare and make ready his way
by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,
that at his second coming to judge the world
we may be found an acceptable people in his sight;
for he is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.