From the Pastor’s desk— December 4, 2022
In our first reading today, the prophet Isaiah speaks about God’s future for humanity, what has come to be called, “the peaceable kingdom.” Many people have heard or seen Christmas cards where the Lion lays down with the lamb, but that is not written from Isaiah’s hand, rather he speaks of a day where “the wolf shall be the guest of the lamb.” The images of Isaiah are beautiful and clear, the animal world (which includes us) can coexist if we live in the Spirit of the Lord.
This kind of peace is the desire of every heart, one that we pray for, but one that continues to elude humanity. It is estimated that 50 % of people who go online have been harassed with hate speech, prejudice, or sexual harassment. When you consider that over 100 million people are displaced from their homes or home country by famine or war, peace is a challenge for all of humanity. What is the answer to our troubled world? The answer for peace really is Christmas, but it will take more than
buying a few presents.
How do we get this peace we long for, this peace the world needs? In one word, it comes from justice and Isaiah tells us we can get justice with the gifts of the Spirit, most of which we received from our Confirmation: wisdom, counsel, understanding, strength, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. Our problem is that even though we have received these gifts at our confirmation, many of us have not opened these gifts since that day, they remain unopened in the back of our closets.
Advent is the perfect time to open up these gifts as we grow closer to our God who drew closer to us in the Incarnation. We don’t have to wait until Christmas to open these gifts, we can start the road to peace by picking one of these gifts we don’t use enough and start using it more and more whether that be understanding, knowledge (of God), wisdom (making right/better judgments) or fear of the Lord.
The last one, fear of the Lord, doesn’t mean we are scared of God, but rather we see Him for all of who He is and that we give God His due, which means daily prayer and weekly Mass attendance.
If we want a new world with peace, that newness must begin with us, which means we must be willing to live in a completely new way. Justice demands it and God will help us with every step.
With a heart for Mission,