These readings are about getting to know a personalized Jesus. Isaiah tells the Faithful what to expect in the Messiah. Offering hope for the downtrodden, Isaiah may date from the exile or sooner. Dating from before the exile at the time of the monarchy, Psalm 72 is a Royal Psalm about enthroning the king as a wise and just ruler. Psalm 72 is one of the psalms used by later Christians to turn the Magi into Kings.
Romans is about putting on
A prophet may have offered the original
The stump of Jesse in verse 1 means the Faithful are in exile, torn away from Jerusalem. The prophet Isaiah expects a rebirth from the coming Messiah. Isaiah is not thinking centuries down the line, as Christians reinterpreting Isaiah, do. What Isaiah prophesied did not happen. Not all First Testament prophecies were fulfilled. For the Faithful, this means that God is paying attention, even when he does not seem to be listening. Jesus shows the Faithful how God does listen, by taking on human identity.
Isaiah describes the people of
The ancient Jews took the
spirit of the LORD in verse 2 as a permanent endowment upon the root of
Knowledge of the Messiah and fear of the LORD are parts of
the covenant with Israel. Verse 2 and
verse 3 both mention fear of the LORD. Knowledge is often linked with fear of the
Lord (cf. Psalm )
that leads to worship and obedience (Isa 11:2; 33:6; Prov 1:7, 29; 2:5; ).
Is the fear of the Lord the beginning or
the culmination of wisdom? Both? Therefore, like the Faithful, the Messiah,
In verse 4, the Messiah shall
judge the poor with justice. What
Isaiah had in mind was himself as poor. As I see it, through the eyes of
Poor from the
Greek can refer either to
In verse 4, the rod of
his mouth and the breath of his lips,
I consider fraternal correction. Such
fraternal correction is something the hierarchy owes not only to the Faithful,
but also to their clergy. As something
fraternal, correction also moves in the opposite direction, from the Faithful
back up the hierarchy. Such is the
With a little child to
guide them in verse 6, Christians interpret as the Nativity Christ child. This prophecy brings out the little child in
the Faithful. Here Isaiah suggests a
childlike trust in the Almighty, a trust
In verse 9, my holy
mountain, refers to
Verse 10, a signal for
the nations, is a sign that
The Lectionary also uses Psalm 72 for the Epiphany.
Reading Page verses Responsorial Sunday
4 A 19-20 1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17 (cf. 7) Advent 2 = Today
20 ABC 118 1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13 (cf. 7) Epiphany
The Responsorial antiphon about justice and peace is about
the rule of
In verse 4,
In verse 5,
Romans develops a “debt theology,” whereby the Faithful owe
their own good behavior to God because of the good behavior of God to them in
Verses 8 and 9 explain that
Make straight his paths refers to the thought and soul patterns of the Faithful.
Matthew writes that John had a leather belt around his waist at the same time the Lectionary in Isaiah 11:5 proclaims that for the Messiah justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. The Lectionary intimates that justice and faithfulness require repentance. When one considers the struggles in justice between organizing society according to principles of socialism or capitalism, there is plenty of room for repentance for all. Socialism is good theory that does not work; capitalism is bad theory that does work. Socialism is good theory because socialism cares about the poor. Capitalism is bad theory because capitalism does not care about the poor.
Even Sacred Scripture exaggerates a little, for example all Judea … were going out to him (Matt
This exaggeration means that the
Faithful are supposed to use common sense to understand the Scriptures brought
into the discussion by Paul in Romans 15:4.
The function of Sacred Scripture is to guard and to guide (Rom 15:4; 1
Mentioning roots brings to mind the 1974 book, Roots,
So long as I noted exaggeration about all
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RICA) proclaims
the neophytes elect. In verses 8-10,
All four Evangelists quote
These readings offer the Faithful an opportunity to enter the
mind, soul, and heart of Jesus. Isaiah
offers a promise unfulfilled at the time it was made, but reinterpreted as
fulfilled in both
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
 Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 477.
 Mark Allan Powell, “The Magi as Kings: An Adventure in Reader-Response Criticism,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000) 462, 473,
 W. R. G. Loader, “Son of David, Blindness, Possession, and Duality in Matthew,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4 (October 1982) 583.
 Randall E. Otto, “The Prophets and Their Perspective," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 2 (April 2001), 232 and throughout.
 Joseph Jensen, O.S.B., “Yahweh’s Plan in Isaiah and the Rest of the Old Testament," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 3 (July 1986), 450.
 J. Ross Wagner, “From the Heavens to the Heart: The Dynamics of Psalm 19 as Prayer," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 2 (April 1999) 250.
 Mark Allan Powell, “Matthew’s Beatitudes: Reversals and Rewards of the Kingdom," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 3(July 1996) 463, 470.
 Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan/ Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002) 69-70.
 Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan/ Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002) 73.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Mathew 8-9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 564.
 Mark D. Smith, “Of Jesus and Quirinius," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (October 2001) 288.
 Adrian M. Leske, “Context and Meaning of Zechariah 9:9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 4 (October 2000) 665.
 Charles H. Talbert, “Paul, Judaism, and the Revisionists," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 1 (January 2001) 8, 18.
 Richard J. Clifford, S.J., “The Unity of the Book of Isaiah and Its Cosmogonic Language," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 1 (January 1993 ) 14.
 Joseph A. Comber, C.F.X., “The Composition and Literary Characteristics of Matt 11:20-24," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 4 (October 1977) 498.
 Warren Carter, “Recalling the Lord's Prayer: The Authorial Audience and Matthew's Prayer as Familiar Liturgical Experience," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3 (July 1995) 529.