“Comfort my people!” It is a command that Isaiah receives from the Lord.
What is this consolation?
Undoubtedly, the punishment received for guilt is not enough to receive this consolation; With punishment, a person’s heart is battered, wounded, unable to receive consolation.
It is necessary to create a way so that this consolation can be received: making a straight highway through the wasteland, raising, lowering, straightening and smoothing; that is to say, healing and putting in order all the elements that can build that path. This is why the voice cries out loud to the heart of Jerusalem. The desert, at that moment, is the heart of each one that forms the people, full of fragility and despair.
Consolation is the coming of the Lord, this is the central point of this prophecy of Isaiah.
He comes as a shepherd who embraces and carries the sheep on his chest.
Is 40:1-5, 9-11
The embrace and tenderness of God that comes with power over all power structures, over all pain, over all despair, over all fragility, is the source of consolation for his people.
To embrace and to pour out his tenderness, he needs arms and chest, he needs to make himself visible to our humanity, he needs to incarnate.
The Gospels identify this crying voice with John the Baptist, who has the mission of preparing the way of the Lord and this is evident even from his name: the two words, consolation and John, have the same root in Hebrew; In the same way, the shepherd who cares, who embraces and who envelops us with tenderness, must be identified with the Lord Jesus. He really has come and stayed with us until the end of time. He is the source of our comfort and joy. He is the embrace of the Father who reveals who we are to Him. We can see the situation in our life as punishment, but let’s not forget that we are called to a higher hope than any situation could promise us.