Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord,
as water covers the sea. (Is 11:6-9)
Some may think that Isaiah was full of hot air. They would say that he had no idea what he was talking about when he spoke about the “day of the Lord.” After all, Isaiah promised what a lot of people would say was nonsense. How would wild animals co-exist in peace? Why would they?
Even more, how would people live in peace with one another? Had they not been at odds — even at war — for several generations? Would it be unreasonable to think that they would be able to live in peace?
The answer to that question is yes. Yes, it would be unreasonable to think that people would live in peace. Yes, it would be unreasonable to think that the wolf should be the guest of the lamb. Yes, it would be unreasonable to think of a little child walking unharmed amidst a calf and young lion supposedly living in peace.
Yes. It would be unreasonable. If…
If we judged by the world’s standards.
However, Isaiah was trying to open the eyes of God’s people to new possibilities. The same possibilities that Jesus was alluding to in today’s Gospel when he stated, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
Jesus wanted His people to open their eyes to new possibilities. He wanted His people to become like children, dependent upon their Heavenly Father because, in doing so, they would find their world changing radically.
Jesus wanted all of that then and He wants all of that now. Are you willing to believe that God can change this world of ours? Are you willing to believe that people can live in peace? Are you willing to believe that there will be no need for violence of any kind in the world?
It does not begin “out there”. It begins inside each and every one of us. And it can begin now.
FAITH ACTION: What can you do to further the Kingdom of God in our world today?