First Reading (Dawn): Isaiah 62:11-12

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11 Behold, YHWH has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your salvation comes.
Behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.’”

12 They shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of YHWH: and you shall be called Sought out, A city not forsaken.

World English Bible

The author (Second or Third Isaiah?) proclaimed these few verses as a command to prepare and welcome the returning exiles from Babylon. Yet the message of welcome and hope was not for the returning peoples alone. Jerusalem was in ruin and the local people were also in need of comfort. The desolate city was not abandoned by its God. In fact, those who returned would rebuild the city to its former glory.

In the context of Christmas, we, the faithful, might be like Jerusalem. We might be desolate because we have not heeded the call to turn back to the Lord. But now is the time, the time of our salvation. It is not a time of despair, but one of hope and rejoicing. For deliverance is at hand. In the face of a babe. Christ the Lord.

How is this day one of salvation for you? How can you rejoice in the presence of the Lord?