On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse…then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. (Isaiah 11)
The Prophet Isaiah uses poetic language and surprising images from nature to offer the people of Israel a message of hope: the promise of a day when God will act to restore the proper relationships between people and even a perfect harmony in nature.
In the season of Advent these images offer us hope that the coming of Christ will restore our relationships with God, with others, and even within nature. But it is also something we must work for, cooperating with the grace of God to make what is possible a reality. By turning from sin and opening our hearts to those with whom we have differences, we allow the wolf to be a guest of the lamb. Even in nature, with global warming and pollution threatening our planet, we are reminded to do our part to respect the earth and keep it livable for future generations.
So much is beyond our control: for that we have to hope and trust in God; so much depends on us: for this we must have the courage to change our lives to make it better for others and for our future.