Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tuesday of the First Week of Advent

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

St. Martin de Porres is said to have reconciled a dog, a cat, and a rat to eat together.  It is a charming story that demonstrates the point of today’s Scripture readings.  Natural enemies will live in peace with the coming of the Lord.  Martin himself brought rich and poor; black, white and indigenous; religious and lay people together.  Like St. Francis of Assisi, he may be seen as “another Christ.”

Today’s first reading changes the expectation for the Messiah.  He is not to a warrior but a wise man.  He comes not to destroy foes with his power but to reconcile them with wisdom.  His attraction will not be limited to sons and daughters of Israel but will be felt throughout the earth.  The gospel hints at the fulfillment of Isaiah’s vision in Jesus.  He wields no sword and overpowers no outlaw.  Nevertheless, he shows himself as the Messiah, the Son of God.  He heals and forgives.  He enlightens the dull-minded and confers salvation on those who trust in him.

We may find the feats of Jesus as hard to believe as Martin’s reconciling his convent’s animals.  They probably were embellished in the formation of the gospels.  But we must not deny them.  They are testimony that Jesus was radically different from other humans.  He was God’s Son.  By following him, we too can move beyond the hostilities of the world.  Following him, we will have the peace of eternal life.