“Although you have been forsaken and hated, with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations. You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am
Your Saviour, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Instead
of bronze, I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood, I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler. No longer
will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within
your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise.
In today´s verses, the picture of Israelites returning to their homeland from Babylon and the reconstruction of their national life brightens. God promises His blessings which seem to go far beyond those experienced by post-exilic Israel. This is the time for the removal of sin and the punishment of Israel´s enemies. Israel will receive the glory it has always hoped for. Not only will scattered Jews return to their land, but people of all nations will come to Jerusalem to worship the God of Israel. Some countries send camels loaded with treasure. Others send animals that guarantee a constant supply for the sacrifices in the rebuilt temple. Foreigners help rebuild Jerusalem and demonstrate their submission to Israel through the constant supply of gifts they bring to the city. Some of the nations provide valuable building materials for the new temple. Nations that in the past attacked Israel now become its subjects. Those who previously plundered and disgraced Israel now bring it riches and honor. Jerusalem is established with beauty, security, and strength. Violence and cruelty are replaced by peace and righteousness. This is a complete reversal of the curse they have experienced before. We are celebrating the incarnation of the Word made flesh but we are still leaving in a troubled world. Complete liberation of this world will come with the second coming of Christ, and so we are living in a period of waiting hence we need to keep our faith in the savior who was born on Christmas Day.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast poured upon us the new light of thine incarnate Word; Grant that the same light enkindled in our hearts may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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