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FROM JERUSALEM SHALL GO FORTH THE WORD OF SALVATION
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 1st Week of Advent, November 28, 2011
Isa. 2:1-5, Ps. 121, Matt. 8:5-11


"And many peoples shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2:3).


Isaiah prophesies that in the future all nations will come to Jerusalem, for from Zion shall go forth the word of the Lord. They shall seek teaching and salvation there. This prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God gives to the world teaching and salvation through him. "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:46-48). In fact, instead of all nations coming to Jerusalem, the apostles went out from Jerusalem unto all the nations to preach Christ, to bring them the good news of the salvation that God has sent to the world in his Son. Yet we still await the final consummation of history, when Jesus Christ will come again to the earth in visible form. We also await a new earth (2 Pet. 3:13) and a New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10), which will be the home of all the saved from all nations. On that day all nations will indeed flow toward Jerusalem.


We are now between these two comings of Christ for the salvation of all the nations. We take refuge in him now with faith for the forgiveness of our sins through his death on the cross. We also now rise with him to a new and holy life, forgiven and justified through our faith in him, and with his help we try to grow in sanctification by renouncing all sin and the desires of the flesh and of the world to live for him with an undivided and pure heart. We also live in hope of his future coming in glory and of our life with him in the New Jerusalem. We are now preparing ourselves for this.


Hoping for these things, how should we then live? We are to live a life of faith and of renunciation of the pleasures of the world. We should be sober and set our hope fully upon the grace that is coming to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:13). Let us then live in the light, in prayer and simplicity, and have compassion on our brothers. We should graciously welcome them and share with all we can reach the word of salvation and sanctification in Jesus Christ. In him is to be found our peace and happiness, not in the pleasures of the world, which only divide our heart from an undivided devotion to God.


Jesus suffered our punishment for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead for our illumination. We should believe in him, receive his forgiveness, and walk in his light. Then we should share this message of salvation with others unto the ends of the earth, with all we can reach, for from Jerusalem goes forth instruction and the word of salvation for all the nations.

 

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