St. Francis Xavier, Priest
Isaiah 11:1-10 + Luke 10:21-24
December 3, 2019
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him….
In today’s First Reading, the verbs “judge” and “decide” are each used twice. The first sentence is negative, in that Isaiah describes how the “root of Jesse” will not judge and decide: that is, “not by appearance”, “nor by hearsay”. In the next sentence, Isaiah gives a positive description of the judgments of the “root of Jesse”. However, these phrases describe not only how he will judge—that is, “with justice” and “aright”—but also for whom he will judge. He “shall judge the poor”, “and decide… for the land’s afflicted.”
These two brief sentences foreshadow the person of Jesus Christ, the awaited Messiah. They also describe those who live in Jesus Christ: those who through the Holy Spirit are empowered to let Christ live in them and work through them. During Advent, as you wait for the coming of the Messiah, ask yourself (especially as you prepare for the Sacrament of Penance) to what extent Isaiah’s words today describe yourself.
Do you judge the significance of others’ lives, or even worse the significance of your own life, according to appearances or by hearsay? Or do you judge matters “with justice” and rightly? I say “even worse” because you have more authority to judge yourself then to judge others. Also, the ways in which you may rightly judge others are less important than how you must judge yourself in preparation for the Sacrament of Penance. Thanks be to God, He is all-merciful.
Today is the Obligatory Memorial of St. Francis Xavier