Tuesday of the First Week in Advent
(Isaiah 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24)
A woman once described how she could no longer watch nature films on television. Viewing the drama of a killer whale chasing a smaller whale and her calf left her permanently disgusted. She said that the film crew followed the predator stalking mother and calf for hundreds of miles. Then it recorded the killer whale separating the two before making its kill. The visual experience was so jarring that the woman now 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 and, really, among all beings of creation. For this reason Paul writes the church in Rome, “...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 fear of the Lord, the lack of which characterizes the present state of universal victimization. Proof of the new reign of justice will be found when the most vicious of animals fraternize with the most defenseless. We see this prophecy’s fulfillment in Jesus Christ. As today's gospel indicates, he brings knowledge of God the Father to all who care to listen. He humbles the arrogant and lifts up the lowly. With his expected return in glory soon, peace will reign everywhere.