December 3, 2019

Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest

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…

Many of our readings in Advent are taken from the prophet Isaiah. Today’s reading reminds us that God’s plan for the cosmos is peace, harmony, and beauty. The rather poetic imagery above reminds us of this. We may never actually expect to see wolves and lambs living together in peace, or children playing with poisonous snakes. However, these visions evoke here the harmony of Eden where everyone was a vegetarian. God’s ideal of peace for his creation is expressed here quite clearly.

The messianic era was intended to usher in this era of peace. But where and when, we rightly ask? We surely do not live in a world of peace. Does this indicate a failure on the part of God to carry out his promises? Hardly! It indicates, rather, a failure on our part to take God’s word and his grace seriously. Peace must begin with us. What if all Catholics were known for their ability to live together in complete harmony? What if all Christians were known for living in peace with one another? What if all were pacifists? Would that not truly be a beginning of the peace Isaiah prophesied?

In every Mass we invoke the Holy Spirit that we who share in communion might be “one body, one spirit in Christ.” And we hear the priest pray that “the peace of the Lord be with you always.” And we share a sign of peace with each other. If this is not to be an empty sign, we must make it a priority in our lives. We have the example and prayer of Jesus to inspire us. What more do we need today?

Let Us Pray:

Oh Lord, make me a channel of your peace.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.