Summary: Year A. Second Sunday in Advent December 9th, 2001 Title: “For God to be God, the leader-king-lord in our lives, requires our acquiescence and requires it every minute of our lives.”
Year A. Second Sunday in Advent December 9th, 2001
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.
(Here ends the first reading)
This prophecy is a reflection, giving the divine interpretation to the human situation, upon the period following the takeover of the northern kingdom, Israel, by the Assyrians in 722BC. The Davidic dynasty, now two hundred years old, in the south, Judah, is clearly in danger. What will happen if it becomes extinct, if the Assyrians kill off all the members of the royal family as is their custom when taking over a country?
The prophecy assures the people that the royal dynasty will not only survive, but will thrive, if, and only if, the king starts taking God’s interpretation of reality seriously. When the king is anointed as such he receives God’s Spirit. If he ignores that reality he leads the people into disaster. As was the case in the north so will it be in the south. Because God is faithful to his word, his promises, he will raise up a strong and faithful king who will establish justice and peace. Of course, what is true of the king is also true of the king’s subjects. Like the king, they must look beyond the surface of things and connect with the Spirit, stop being deaf, dumb and blind to the word of God, stop depending on human resources and advice, and behave as the king’s good servants yes, but God’s servants first. The result of this, right behavior, righteousness, will be not only social and political peace but total peace, a peace which includes the natural environment as well, idyllic peace, paradisal peace.