Reading: This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
The mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!
Reflection: Throughout the history of humanity, we have longed for peace. In the Old Testament, Isaiah foretold peace would come from Israel. He painted a picture of swords being turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. The angels proclaimed, with the birth of Jesus, peace on earth. While we wait for the Second Coming of Christ, we are invited to be instruments of peace on earth and to announce a kingdom of justice and peace to all we encounter. If nations are ever going to thrash their swords into plowshares; we must pound down our feelings of scorn and hatred towards others into love and kindness; our selfishness into generosity and service. When we are able to do this, the Kingdom of God is not some future reality but made present in acts of Christian devotion.