Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday of the First Week in Advent

(Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24)

A friend says that she can no longer watch nature films on television. Viewing the story of a killer whale chasing a smaller whale and her calf for hundreds of miles before it separated the two and made its kill was so jarring an experience that now she dreads the sight of animals preying on one another.

We may think that original sin has caused alienation between humans and God and among other humans, but the transgression has even wider effect. The sin of Adam and Eve is said to have imperiled relationships among animals as well, indeed, throughout the whole of creation. For this reason Paul will tell the church in Roman, “...creation waits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God” (Rom 8:19).

In the first reading the prophet Isaiah strikingly illustrates how the alienation is about to end. A ruler shall come from the line of King David who will restore original justice. He will cast out evil and lift up the oppressed. His actions will teach everyone knowledge of the Lord, the lack of which characterizes the present state of universal victimization. Proof of the new reign of justice will be found in the most vicious and the most defenseless of animals coexisting in peace. We see this prophecy’s fulfillment in Jesus Christ. As the gospel indicates, he brings knowledge of God the Father to all who care to listen. He humbles the arrogant and lifts up the lowly. When he returns in glory, peace will reign everywhere.