In the heavenly Jerusalem they will beat their swords into plowshares, and the lion will lay down with the lamb.



Today’s first reading from Isaiah picks up on yesterday’s reading from Amos, with both picturing the heavenly Jerusalem, and with both speaking of the peace that will reign there. They both use memorable imagery. Where Amos said their swords will be beaten into plowshares, Isaiah says the lion will lie down with the lamb.

The first part of today’s reading from Isaiah touches on matters for here and now. He lists the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Children at their Confirmations expect they will receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit gift wrapped like prayer books or new rosaries.

But the Gifts of the Holy Spirit don’t work that ways. What the kids receive, and what we receive, is not a gift package, but an open line to God. If we take advantage of that, and call on God, he will guide us into behavior that will have us acting wisely, and with understanding, with minds open to good counsel, with the spiritual energy to stick to what must be done, with the willingness to look up the pertinent information, and with enjoyment in having God monitoring us.

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