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December 01, 2020

Sts. Edmund Campion, SJ, Robert Southwell, SJ, and Companions

Is 11: 1-10

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. New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Longing for the peaceful kingdom

In this lovely poem from Isaiah, we read of the peaceful kingdom that will be ushered in by a shoot from Jesse’s stock. This shoot is Jesse’s son, David, who will govern the lands of Israel and Judah with wisdom and justice.

A world where lamb is safe from wolf —the lowly free from harm— is deeply appealing. But how, exactly, can Hobbesian barbarism of bellum omnium contra omnes (“the war of all against all”) give way to a peaceful kingdom of reconciliation and kinship? Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, provides a key insight.

A true “artisan of peace” (FT §284) does not turn a blind eye to violence or injustice in hopes of avoiding conflict. Resistance has its place. But as we confront others, our motivations matter. Only a hunger for righteousness—rather than a “thirst for revenge” (FT §71)—can bring forth an authentic shoot of the peaceful kingdom. Which motivates you?

—James Millikan, SJ, is a scholastic of the Jesuits West Province currently studying philosophy, social science, and applied mathematics at ITESO, the Jesuit university of Guadalajara in Mexico. 

 

Prayer

O God, who calls us to grow in wisdom and righteousness, grant that, as we labor as artisans of peace, we may recognize your presence even in those we find most difficult to love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

—James Millikan, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 01, 2020

Sts. Edmund Campion, SJ, Robert Southwell, SJ, and Companions

Is 11: 1-10

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. New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Longing for the peaceful kingdom

In this lovely poem from Isaiah, we read of the peaceful kingdom that will be ushered in by a shoot from Jesse’s stock. This shoot is Jesse’s son, David, who will govern the lands of Israel and Judah with wisdom and justice.

A world where lamb is safe from wolf —the lowly free from harm— is deeply appealing. But how, exactly, can Hobbesian barbarism of bellum omnium contra omnes (“the war of all against all”) give way to a peaceful kingdom of reconciliation and kinship? Pope Francis’s recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, provides a key insight.

A true “artisan of peace” (FT §284) does not turn a blind eye to violence or injustice in hopes of avoiding conflict. Resistance has its place. But as we confront others, our motivations matter. Only a hunger for righteousness—rather than a “thirst for revenge” (FT §71)—can bring forth an authentic shoot of the peaceful kingdom. Which motivates you?

—James Millikan, SJ, is a scholastic of the Jesuits West Province currently studying philosophy, social science, and applied mathematics at ITESO, the Jesuit university of Guadalajara in Mexico. 

 

Prayer

O God, who calls us to grow in wisdom and righteousness, grant that, as we labor as artisans of peace, we may recognize your presence even in those we find most difficult to love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

—James Millikan, SJ


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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