Death prevailed and swallowed us up, but God has wiped away the tears from every face.

Death had power over Adam, our first parent, because of his sin, and like some savage and cruel beast, it attacked him and carried him off.

After that lamentations, wailings, tears, and mourning for the dead were the lot of all who dwelt upon earth.

But in Christ they came to an end. Coming to life again on the third day, he trampled death under foot and became the way by which we were to escape corruption.

Christ became the firstborn from the dead and the firstfruits of all who had fallen asleep.

Now the firstfruits, the one who comes first, will undoubtedly be followed later by others, that is by us.

And so sorrow has been turned into joy; we are no longer clad in mourning but girded with a God-given gladness that inspires the jubilant cry: Death, where is your victory? Grave, where is your sting?

And in that day they will say: Behold your God in whom we have trusted and exulted.

We shall rejoice in our salvation, for God will give rest upon this mountain.

In other words, you will recognise the one who fills the cup of gladness with wine and anoints with sweet oil the inhabitants of the spiritual Zion.

You will recognise him to be truly God and by his very nature the Son of God, even though for the life and salvation of all he appeared in the nature of a slave and became in every respect except sin a man like those who live upon earth.

Behold our God in whom we have trusted. We have exulted in our salvation.

[…] Behold, our God, and will proclaim that God will give rest upon this mountain.

The mountain referred to must surely be the Church, for it is there that rest is given.

We have heard the words of Christ: Come to me, all who are weary and overburdened and I will give you rest.

By faith in Christ we have laid aside the grievous, the insupportable burden of sin.

And we have been given rest in another way too, for we have been delivered from dread of the punishment we should have had to suffer for our sins.

Nor are these the only effects of the presence in us of the grace of Christ our Saviour.

We have in addition the hope of blessings yet to come, the kingdom of heaven, eternal life, and freedom from every cause of distress.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on Isaiah Lib. 3, t. 1 (PG 70, 563-566), from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Sunday of the 2nd Week in Advent, Year 2.