This is my prayer: That your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of charity/justice that comes through Jesus Christ for the importance and praise of God.
Scripture has four meanings: Literal: What the passage says about past events; Allegorical: What the passage can tell us about something else; Moral: What the passage can teach us about how to live; and Anagogical: What the passage tells us about our end.
During the Second Sunday of Advent, we find an allegorical understanding of Torah. “Jerusalem, look to the east. See your children gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Dedicated One, rejoicing that God remembered them… God commanded every lofty mountain become low, and the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground… The forests and every fragrant kind of tree have overshadowed Israel at God’s command. Baruch 5:1-9
The literal meaning refers to the Exodus from Babylon to Israel. God will level the mountains and use the crushed rock to fill in the valleys, so the people can walk on a level plain. Baruch uses this image in allegory. The people have returned and things are the same as they were before. The rich are the lofty mountains and the age-old depths and gorges are the poor.
John cries in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of Kyrie, and make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled, every mountain and hill made low. The winding roads become straight, and the rough ways made smooth. All flesh shall see the salvation/Jesus of God.”
“Make your ways straight.” Do no crooked things. Have no great disparities of income as in our nation today. Either we clean up this mess, or God will do it for us, and we will not like it if God does it for us. This is true religion. Fill every valley. Make sure all have enough food to eat, clothing to wear, shelter to keep warm, dry and safe, adequate healthcare, and transportation to where ever they have to be. Help those who have taken the wrong path; bringing them back to the right one. Help the rough, the vulgar/mean people, the scrub cattle of the world become smooth, friendly people again, as they were as children. Remember, all flesh will see Jesus, salvation, not just members from our group, and not just humans. All flesh will see God’s salvation.
Some point to the king’s sword as our solution. The Shema, Jesus’ Great Commandment is, “Here Israel, the NAME is Almighty, the NAME is One. Love God with all our hearts, all our animate being, and with all of our measure.” How do we love God? How do we love someone who already literally already has everything? We guard and keep what is his, in particular what is made in his image. That is each other, friend and foe. Any attack on any living person, no matter how deserving, and no matter how defended, is an attack upon the image of God in that person.
This is my prayer; that love increase knowledge, the knowledge of those who are valleys, their suffering and pain, perceive them as people, God’s creation, having value. This will make us pure and blameless for the day of Christ. No more excuses; we use everything at our disposal, church, state, civic organization, and most importantly, our own eyes and ears, hands and feet. Remember, the poor only request we show them how God remembers them, now, today. We can only do that by seeing them in their suffering, listening to them, and then doing something. If we don’t do it, God will and…