Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent
How do you imagine God’s kingdom? What would the world look like if God ruled it?
Often I imagine it as a place free of sorrow and pain, where I’m gathered together with those I love, and especially in the presence of God: I’ll finally see and know his love, and that love will transform me. I imagine a peaceful, bright place; perhaps the image of the lion and the lamb laying down together captures it best.
Our readings today also offer a vision of God’s kingdom, yet they focus on God’s reign as one of justice and peace. Admittedly, I do not often think of that aspect of God’s kingdom, but perhaps that is because gross injustice is not often part of my day-to-day life. In that sense, my life is very different from the ancient Israelites who often experiencing destitution—for them a reign of justice, where each person finally receives what is their due, would be something to long for! A reign in which all the injustices of this world will be done away with, and where the poor will be cared for. God’s reign will be one where people no longer get away with evil with no consequences, with taking advantage of others for their selfish benefit.
Even if you and I may experience relatively small injustices in our lives, our time is as plagued by grand injustice, as was ancient Israel. How can it be that in our world there are people starving to death while others throw food away? How can it be that children grow up hungry and thirsty, without a home, and without an education—or are not even allowed to be born in the first place—while other children have more toys than they know what to do with? Of course, this only scratches the surface of the violence, lying, faithlessness, and other sins that oppress our world.
This Advent, we might better appreciate the coming kingdom of God—a kingdom of justice—by becoming mindful of the many injustices in our world, and better appreciate the longing for justice of our sisters and brothers, becoming united to them in our prayers and works.
Fr. Vincent Davila, OP