Since yesterday's feast of St. Andrew came with its own special readings, today is our first taste of a weekday Advent liturgy. What a way to begin the season! The first reading is the prophecy of Isaiah about the one on whom "the Spirit of the Lord rests" with those gifts of wisdom, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord... (the "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" that we hope for in Confirmation) and the vision of the peaceable kingdom where the leopard lies down with the kid and the wild beasts are as tame as sheep so that a little child can shepherd them.
The Gospel shows us Jesus "rejoicing in the Holy Spirit" at how God inspires not the high and mighty, but the nobodies of the earth, the "merest babes." But the Responsorial Psalm is one of the royal psalms--kind of a contrast! As I was reading it last night, I imagined how Mary would have prayed that psalm at Jesus' crib: "O God, with your judgment endow the King, and with your justice, the King's Son....He shall govern your people in justice, and the poor in right judgment." It's practically a job description for the Messiah. Can you imagine Mary then teaching Jesus how to pray this psalm? How Jesus himself "learned his vocation" through these words of Scripture? No wonder he broke out in that lovely praise ("rejoicing in the Holy Spirit") at how God "casts down the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly to high places."