November 29, 2021
Monday of the First Week of Advent
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Isaiah, Matthew and Psalm 122.
Our first reading sets us out on nearly two weeks of passages from Isaiah. The passionate hope of Isaiah’s writing, as well as its literary elegance, can reach into our hearts and powerfully renew us.
For these reasons, “Isaiah’s Vision” is among the most beloved and influential books of the Bible. The book has so influenced Christianity that it often is referred to as “The Fifth Gospel”.
They shall beat their swords into plowsharesIsaiah 2:4
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
Isaiah’s images, written to fire the souls of the ancient Hebrews, still have the power to enkindle ours today as we await the quickening grace of our Prince of Peace. We still have little and big wars all around us, and some within us. Still there are swords and spears between us that cry for a peaceable bending.
Isaiah asks us to acknowledge them and offer them for transformation so that we may, with our psalmist, “go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.”
In our Gospel, Jesus paints a picture of the sacred house, an inclusive table where all are fed with Eternal Life.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,Matthew 8:11
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven
Poetry: An Appendix to the Vision of Peace by Yehuda Amichai
Yehuda Amichai is recognized as one of Israel’s finest poets. His poems, written in Hebrew, have been translated into 40 languages, and entire volumes of his work have been published in English, French, German, Swedish, Spanish, and Catalan. “Yehuda Amichai, it has been remarked with some justice,” according to translator Robert Alter, “is the most widely translated Hebrew poet since King David.”
- from Poetry Foundation
Don’t stop after beating the swords
into plowshares, don’t stop! Go on beating
and make musical instruments out of them.
Whoever wants to make war again
will have to turn them into plowshares first.
Music: Lo Yisa Goy – Utah Philharmonic
Lo Yisa Goy is a Jewish folk song based on Isaiah 2. Translation below.
Lo yisa goy
El goy cherev
A nation shall not raise
A sword against a nation
And they shall not learn
Any more war.