FRIDAY of the First Week of Advent

Isaiah 29:17–24


The Lord tells the prophet Isaiah, “In a very little while, / Lebanon shall be changed into an orchard, / and the orchard be considered a forest!” (Is 29:17). At that time, Lebanon was uncultivated — that is, a wilderness. To turn the wild into an orchard means to bring about carefully planted and tended fields. It’s a revolution, a great change. Isaiah is proposing this change to us, to our hearts, to be able to cultivate virtue and sow religiosity and order. Sometimes we expect the religious dimension of our lives to grow without structure or management. But our hearts, when allowed to run wild, don’t become orchards without intentionality and commitment. With these virtues in play, Christ, the true vine, will cultivate our hearts according to the husbandry of the Gospel.


Heavenly Father, you are the master gardener, the one who turns forests to orchards. Prune from my heart every threat that would keep me from flourishing, from trusting in you and your plan for my future. Amen.


Search for pictures of an orchard today. Reflect on the carefully planned and manicured trees. What virtue does the orchard of your heart most need to bring order from chaos?

We look forward to continuing this journey with you tomorrow.