Advent Culmination

Your light will come, Jerusalem;
the Lord will dawn on you in radiant beauty.

— Responsory to Morning Prayer in Advent

For morning prayer
the reading is from the prophet Jeremiah 30: 21,22

Thus says the Lord:
His leader shall be from Jacob,
and his rulers shall come from his kin.
When I summon him,
he shall approach me.
You shall be my people,
and I will be your God.

In the Office of Readings, (Page 1944 in the Breviary) I love this excerpt from a Sermon by Peter Chrysologus:

God comforted Jacob by a dream during his flight, roused him to combat upon his return, and encircled him with a wrestler’s embrace to teach him not to be afraid of the author of the conflict, but to love him. God called Moses as a father would, and with fatherly affection invited him to become the liberator of his people.
In all events we have recalled, the flame of divine love enkindled human hearts and its intoxication overflowed into men’s senses. Wounded by love, they longed to look upon God with their bodily eyes. yet how could our narrow human vision apprehend God, whom the whole world cannot contain? But the law of love is not concerned with what will be, what ought to be, what can be. Love does not reflect; it is unreasonable and knows no moderation. Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, despises all hindrances to the attainment of its object. Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves; love follows its own promptings, and does not think of right and wrong. Love inflames desire, which impels it toward things that are forbidden. But why continue?
It is intolerable for love not to see the object of its longing. That is why whatever reward they merited was nothing to the saints if they could not see the Lord. A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. It gave Moses the temerity to say: If I have found favor in your eyes, show me your face. It inspired the psalmist to make the same prayer: show me your face.

About Elizabeth Scalia