Isaiah's Prophecy Fulfilled

(November 28, 2022)

Bottom line: We want to climb God's mountain, learn his law and participate in the sacrifice that bring peace.

Many of you know I am a fan of the Chosen series. My favorite character, next to Jesus, is Matthew. Well, today we begin readings from the Gospel of Matthew and we will continue until Advent 2023. We'll have more time for Matthew when we begin consecutive readings in January.

This year for Advent and Christmas I will concentrate on the Prophet Isaiah. His importance we see in that he provides the first reading for each Sunday and for Christmas itself. I asked Jack Smitchger to give a course on Isaiah that I hope many of you will take. In the bulletin you can read more about Jack the course outline.

Today Isaiah prophecies about the Lord's mountain: "In days to come, the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it..." This refers to Mount Zion where Solomon built the Temple and to Mount Calvary where Roman soldiers lifted Jesus on the cross. Pilgrims today stream to this mountain. Why? Isaiah tells us, "many peoples shall come and say: 'Come, let us climb the LORD's mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.'"

Jerusalem provides the model for every church. One of the things I want to address this Advent is how we should behave in our church. When you enter St. Mary of the Valley Church, your attention should focus on the altar and the crucifix above it. You should make a reverence - profound bow - before you enter the pew. A simple bow is nodding the head. A profound is, if your hands were extended, they would touch your knees. You will notice at the begin of Mass, the priest, before he ascends the altar, he makes a profound bow. The acolyte and lector, because they are holding the cross and Gospel book, remain erect. Then we climb the altar steps as if were climbing Mount Zion or Mount Calvary.

The Mass begins with the Lord's instruction so we can walk in his paths. If you are like me, you do some stumbling. The Lord wants us to study his law so we can follow his path. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

When we walk in the Lord's path, we realize the Isaiah's prophecy, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again."

Some of you have heard of Culiacan - a beautiful city in northwestern Mexico, about the size of Seattle, a little bigger. Culiacan is also known as the murder capital of Mexico. An artist named Pedro Reyes asked citizens to donate firearms so he could turn them into shovel. He collected 1527 guns and forged the metal into shovel heads. They used the shovels to plant at least 1527 trees.

Pedro Reyes obviously drew inspiration from Isaiah's prophecy about turning swords into plowshares. To do that we have climb the Lord's mountain and learn his law. And participate in the sacrifice of Mount Calvary. Peace, reconciliation ultimately comes through Jesus.

We will learn more next week when he hear Isaiah speak about a day when the lamb will receive the wolf as its guest - and the leopard will lie down next to calf. We have a place in our church where that happens. I'll tell you about it next week.

Today we begin Advent. We want to climb God's mountain, learn his law and participate in the sacrifice that bring peace. Amen.


Resisting Happiness Week 1 - A Man Who Resisted Then Chose Happiness (Audio homily for First Sunday of Advent, Year A 2016)

One Taken, One Left (Audio homily for First Sunday of Advent, Year A 2013)

From Archives (Homilies for Christ the King, Year A):

2019: Climb the Lord's Mountain
2016: Resisting Happiness Week 1: Misery or Happiness?
2013: One Taken, One Left
2010: Please Hold the Applause
2007: Not in Promiscuity and Lust
2004: The Night is Advanced
2001: The Noise Stopped

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources) *New episodes for Ordinary Time leading up to Lent*

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron

Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)

Parish Picture Album


MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru