Half of the animals mentioned in today's first eucharistic reading are predators: the wolf, leopard, lion, bear, cobra, and adder. The other half mentioned are prey: lamb, kid, calf, cow, and baby. The nature and instinct of a predator is to eat the prey. A predator would need an entirely new nature in order to resist eating prey so near at hand. On God's holy mountain, in His kingdom, a new order is in place. "There shall be no harm or ruin on all My holy mountain" (Is 11:9).
God gave this new nature to us on the day of our Baptism. If we ask Him, God will give us eyes to behold this new nature. We won't see criminals; instead, in Jesus we will see a potential "good thief" (Lk 23:39-43). The "learned and the clever" see predators and assume they will eat the prey (Mt 11:25). The childlike see as God sees (Nm 24:4; Mt 11:25) and with their spiritual eyes can see fierce predators acting with contented new natures in Christ, eating "hay like the ox" (Is 11:7) rather than eating the prey. The childlike are able to see fierce opponents of the Lord potentially desiring unity and life and so can treat them with innocent love rather than with fear and avoidance. The "wise" look at the exterior; the childlike look into the heart as does Jesus (see 1 Sm 16:7).
Meanwhile, we live in a predatory world ruled, it seems, by the nature of the flesh. Though we live in the world, we are called to not be of the world (Jn 15:19). We do not evaluate situations with the eyes of the world but spiritually (1 Cor 2:12ff). Blest are the eyes that see what we see (Lk 10:23), that is, what the Almighty sees (Nm 24:4).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 3, 2017.