Sunday readings in brief 1 Advent A
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalms 71(72); Romans 15:4-9; Mathew
The King of Peace
Dear friends, today is the Second Sunday of Advent year A. The main theme of this week is The Messiah King of Peace who is coming to us. Peace is one of the most essential and universal needs for all creatures. Where there is peace, there is development and prosperity. Where there is no peace, there is destruction and death. Because of the lack of peace, many people in the world live in pain, the environment is polluted and there is a lot of death.
God sent his only Son to bring peace to the world. the Prophet Isaiah tries to paint a picture of the days of this Messiah who was promised to the whole world through the chosen people of Israel. He will be full of wisdom and insight, counsel and power, knowledge and fear of the Lord. He will judge justly and not from hearsay (judging from hearsay is one of the leading causes of hatred and conflict among communities) but with integrity. During his days, there will be such peace that there everything will coexist without conflict, a cow will be friends with the bear the infant plays over the cobra’s hole, etc. The challenging question to us who are reliving this moment every year is, do we embrace the peace that Christ brings us?
One of the signs of the existence of peace is unity and coexistence among people from different ethnic backgrounds, political affiliations, and different religious beliefs. There is a big difference between being peaceful and being calm. Many nations are said to be peaceful but when you go to the ground you realized that people have no genuine peace but are muscled or coaxed to be calm. The problem is that calmness is time bound and one day all will explode in search of true peace. Though Christ came from the Jewish people, his mission was to bring the whole world together making all brothers and sisters of one God the Father. Though Christianity has spread all over the world and has done a lot to unite the world not only in faith but also in unity and solidarity, there is still those who misguide others to discriminate against their neighbors because of their beliefs. These are agents of the evil one, disguised as ministers of the Gospel.
The main protagonist today is John the Baptist who announced the coming of the Messiah and point him out to the world. When he went around calling people to repentance, he was astonished to see the Pharisees and the Sadducees also coming to be baptized. He knew that they were not after repentance but want to play safe. They called themselves sons of Abraham but they had no faith in Jesus and even plotted his death on the cross. Today we have many such people who claim to be Christians but who do not live a single Christian value. They visit the Church on occasion just to play safe. John rebuked them for claiming to be sons of Abraham yet they had nothing in common with him.
Dear friends, it is not enough to be baptized and claim to be a Christian. What will make us worthy of heaven is our conduct. We must conduct ourselves in accordance with our calling as Christians among them being ambassadors of peace in our communities. I invite us today to reflect on the true meaning of peace and ask ourselves whether we are peaceful or just calm.
Have a peaceful Sunday.
Fr. Lawrence Muthee SVD