A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse,
a scion thrusts from his roots:
on him the spirit of the Lord rests,
a spirit of wisdom and insight,
a spirit of counsel and power,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord.
(The fear of the Lord is his breath.)
He does not judge by appearances,
he gives no verdict on hearsay,
but judges the wretched with integrity,
and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.
His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless,
his sentences bring death to the wicked.
Integrity is the loincloth round his waist,
faithfulness the belt about his hips.
The wolf lives with the lamb,
the panther lies down with the kid,
calf and lion cub feed together
with a little boy to lead them.
The cow and the bear make friends,
their young lie down together.
The lion eats straw like the ox.
The infant plays over the cobra’s hole;
into the viper lair
the young child puts his hand.
They do no hurt, no harm,
on all my holy mountain,
for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters swell the sea.
That day, the root of Jesse
shall stand as a signal to the peoples.
It will be sought out by the nations
and its home will be glorious.
Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, “Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear and never heard it.”
Reading about the cobra and the viper in the first reading brings to mind immediately the serpent in the garden of Eden, and the lie that it told to Adam and Eve, which brought about the fall of mankind. All sin is based on lies. The first sin of mankind was not what the fruit could do, but that man could be equal to God. Many more sins have come from that same lie.
Isaiah tells us that “integrity is the loincloth round his waist”. Integrity means truth, and truth is that loincloth. A loincloth is a cloth that covers the loins of a man, which are his most vulnerable and private parts. It is important that truth covers a man’s loins, because some of the greatest lies, especially in our time, concern a man’s loins.
Our time glorifies sex. Our television programmes, the magazines and newspapers on the street stands, our movies in the cinema, the songs that we hear on the radio, they all glorify sex in one way on another. Unfortunately, they all glorify sex in a way that is untrue; they lie about sex. They tell us that sexual promiscuity is normal, and that it is okay for young people to have sex because it makes them popular, and there is no harm caused to anyone. And we believe it.
Our time also glorifies science and technology. They tell us that with improvement to science and technology, it is possible for man to do the impossible. They tell us that God which was once used to explain the inexplicable is no longer needed, because science can and will one day explain everything. And we believe it.
Another glorification is that of material wealth. Society tells us that we must amass as much material wealth as possible in order to be part of the popular crowd, in order to live a “comfortable” life. Society tells us that those who do not live a “comfortable” life are suffering unnecessarily and are unhappy, and it goes on to dictate what we need to have in order to have a “comfortable” life. And we believe it.
We believe it because we want to believe it. The lie is always easier to accept than the truth, because there can be only one truth, but as many lies as you want. Lies are always more desirable than truth. But truth is real, whereas lies are not. There is only one truth, and that is Jesus Christ.
Many prophets and kings have longed to see the truth, but were not able to sift it from the lies they saw. We have the truth which is Jesus Christ in our midst. He is, in every way, the truth that we yearn to see amidst all the lies we are told and shown in our world. He is the only truth.
But in order to see Jesus as the truth, we cannot look at him with learned eyes. We cannot look at him thinking that we know a lot about theology, Christology, church documents and doctrine, etc. When we look at Jesus, we must look at him with eyes of awe and wonder, like when a child sees something for the first time.
For indeed every time that we encounter Christ, he reveals something to us for the first time. Most of the time we do not see it, because we are believing the lie that we know all there is to know, even if we don’t express it. We must look at Jesus with eyes of wonder, to see Jesus as he really is, to look at him and be able to say, “Wow! This is truth before me.”
Dear Jesus, help each encounter we have with you to be one of awe and wonder. Help us to be open to you working in our lives, revealing to us the lies that we have believed without questioning, and to accept the difficult but ultimately life-giving truth that is you. Amen.
Give Thanks to the Lord for: Those who speak the truth.
You Should Also Check Out This Post:
- Sunday, July 1 - Are you free to say ‘No’?
- Saturday, June 30 - Hospitality
- Friday, June 29 - Keeping the faith
- Wednesday, June 27 - The golden rule of truth
- Question: What’s the connection between pre-marital sex and adultery?