“In days to come, The Mountain of the NAME’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it. Many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the NAME’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction and the word of the NAME from Jerusalem.
“He shall judge between the nations and set terms for many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” Isaiah 2:2-4
Our Bible has a love/hate relationship with secular authority and the concept of society in general. On the one hand, we read how God calls nations, not individuals to his mountain. Mathew 25:31-46 is an address to nations, not individuals. The Greek word for nation is, “Ethnos,” from which we get our word, Ethnic. That is people born together, by heritage if not blood or place of birth. Our word, nation, comes from the same root as nativity, people born together, through shared heritage. With this in mind, we read the Gospel reading for the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time.
“See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he told them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. Gospel Reading for the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
First, we read about how false Messiah’s, saviors, will arise. The German word for a healer, and therefore a savior is “Heil.” “Heil Hitler” means “Healer Hitler,” or “Savior Hitler.” There is only one healer and that is God. Like all false messiahs, Hitler went pointing to false enemies. He told people of wars and insurrections. He told the German people nations would rise up against his nation and Reichs against his Reichs. He told them of all the quakes that would come in his world, of the famines of war, and the plagues that would come from place to place. We will hear of wars and rumors of wars, and his warriors, the Hitlers of the world will tell us of those wars. When people warn us about the enemies coming to get us, whether they be the bad Hombres coming from south of the border, or from the Middle East, rest assured, the false messiah warns us of this war because he plans to cause this war.
Jesus gives us a powerful message here. When people come telling us they will make this nation great again, Hitler said that. If you want to see the results of that, look at Dresden in ’45, or Hamburg, or Berlin.
The Torah tells us the same thing, “A king is not saved by a great army, nor a warrior delivered by great strength. Useless is the horse for safety; despite its great strength, it cannot be saved. Behold, the eye of the NAME is upon those who fear him, upon those who count on his mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive through famine. Psalm 33:16-19
Put no trust in princes, in children of Adam powerless to save. Who breathing his last, returns to the earth; that day all his planning comes to nothing. Blessed the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the NAME, his God. Psalm 146:3-5
Better to take refuge in the NAME than to put one’s trust in mortals. Better to take refuge in the NAME than to put one’s trust in princes. Psalm 118:8-9
They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead you to give testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. Gospel for the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Jesus is not talking about High Christology. You find that in John’s Gospel. Jesus speaks of a far more basic message. “He shall judge between the nations and set terms for many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” Our message is one of non-violence.
There is no man who does not wish to be joyful, neither is there anyone who does not wish to have peace. For even they who make war desire nothing but victory—desire, that is to say, to attain to peace with glory. For what else is victory than the conquest of those who resist us? When this is done there is peace. It is therefore with the desire for peace that wars are waged, even by those who take pleasure in exercising their warlike nature in command and battle. Peace is the end sought for by war. For every man seeks peace by waging war, but no man seeks war by making peace. For even they who intentionally interrupt the peace in which they are living have no hatred of peace, but only wish it changed into a peace that suits them better. St. Augustine City of God Book 19 chapter 12
Our message is in not about raising legitimate love of our ethnic group, America, to the level of idolatry, putting the secular ruler first. It is not about having peace on our terms. We must love our ethnic group, America, but not at the expense of other ethnic groups. God will judge the other ethnic groups. The Hebrew term is “AM,” and means mother, as in motherland, people born of the same mother heritage. We must be people of non-violence. The patriots will hate us, accuse us of not being patriotic if we do not support every conflict fearless leader puts us in conflict with. They will lead us to kings, presidents, governors, and judges to explain our lack of patriotism.
This is what gives us the chance to give testimony, not to the abstractions of Trinity, but to the idea that God is One, God comes first, and his property comes second. That is the environment and everything in the environment, in particular, what God makes in his image, each other.
Where do the wars and where do, the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members? You desire but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. Adulterers! Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, “The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy”? He bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:1-6
Their land is full of silver and gold, there is no end to their treasures; their land is full of horses, there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the works of their hands, what their fingers have made… People will go into caves in the rocks and into holes in the earth, at the terror of the NAME and the splendor of his majesty, as he rises to overawe the earth. Isaiah 2:19
We also read of what happens to those who those trusting in false treasure in Isaiah 2:19. Revelation 6 gives the same warning for the end of the age.
The kings of the earth, the nobles, the military officers, the rich, the powerful, and every slave and free person hid in caves and among mountain crags. They cried out to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Revelation 6:15-16
If the candidate for public office speaks of massive amounts of military spending, listen to what the above quotes say about that military spending. They do not save. Huge military expenditures do not save the king, and they do not save you. The need for those expenditures should also cause us to look at our value system. Do we worship, a fancy German word meaning give worth to gold and silver, the work of human hands, or do we give value to God? In particular, we read that in Torah, in Isaiah 2:19 today.