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A KINGDOM OF LIGHT
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Sunday, 4th Sunday of Advent, December 18, 2011
2 Sam. 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16, Ps. 88, Rom. 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38


"In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails. He shall rule from sea to sea, from the great river to earth's bounds" (Ps. 71:7-8 Grail).


There will be a new creation when Christ comes into the world. This Old Testament hope was fulfilled when Christ was born among us. "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17). All the prophecies are fulfilled in Christ, for he brought the kingdom of heaven to earth and united man to God. His is a kingdom of heavenly peace in this world, a kingdom that will last forever and that will extend over all the earth and renew the human race. He will bring righteousness to the earth, the righteousness of God, his own righteousness, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and he will give it to us who believe in him, making us righteous, justified, and resplendent in his sight, and in reality, for he will bear our punishment for our sins on the cross and so satisfy divine justice on our behalf. Henceforth all who believe in him will be righteous, for he has justly paid for their sins and served their sentence. They become righteous, a new creation. Indeed, in his days there shall arise righteousness and abundance of peace (Ps. 71:7).


He shines over all the earth, and the world is full of his glory and light. He will be the most exalted of all the kings of the earth, and he will reign forever. His throne will last as long as the sun. He will greatly surpass the prophecies made about him, in that he himself-not just his dynasty-will endure and reign forever. He superabundantly fulfilled this prophecy about David: "I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth. My steadfast love I will keep for him for ever ... I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens ... His line shall endure for ever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established for ever; it shall stand firm while the skies endure" (Ps. 88:27-29, 36-37).


The psalmist prophesied an eternal dynasty for David, but the fulfillment gave us an eternal king, an individual king of David's line who would reign forever, and whose dominion would extend unto the ends of the earth. "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth" (Ps. 71:8 KJV). Truly "his name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed" (Ps. 71:17 KJV). Not only will the sons of David sit on his throne forever, but an individual descendent of David will reign forever from his throne. The fulfillment far surpasses this prophecy: "The Lord swore to David a sure oath from which he will not turn back: ‘One of the sons of your body I will set on your throne. If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies which I shall teach them, their sons also for ever shall sit upon your throne'" (Ps. 131:11-12).


This messianic expectation began with David, when the prophet Nathan told him that his throne would endure forever, saying, "When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom ... And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever" (2 Sam. 7:12, 16). Jesus Christ, a king of David's line, reigns to this day over a new creation, over the kingdom of heaven on earth, a kingdom of heavenly peace for all who believe in him, confessing their sins with repentance. He makes them new men (Eph. 4:22-24). Indeed, he makes all things new (Rev. 21:5).


What will happen when he comes? "The crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain" (Isa. 40:4 KJV). This is the new creation. Through Christ's death on the cross "the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain" (Isa. 40:4 KJV), and we shall be made new, forgiven, renewed, and illuminated by his salvation. He removes the burden from our shoulders, our guilt, and gives us a happy heart and a pure and clean conscience. He opens our eyes that were blind and our ears that were deaf and makes us leap like a running deer (Isa. 35:5-6). He gives rivers in the desert, and makes it bloom (Isa. 35:1). We are that desert that now flourishes in Christ.


"Now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace" (Mic. 5:4-5 KJV). We now live in him, and he lives in us, renewing us from within. He shines in our heart and illuminates it (2 Cor. 4:6). In him we see the light. This is the kingdom of heaven that Jesus Christ brought to the earth. Truly, as the angel Gabriel said to Mary, "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:32-33). "The government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:6-7 KJV). In his days "the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them" (Isa. 11:6 KJV). His is a kingdom of peace on earth, the peace that the angels sang of at his birth, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14 KJV).


This is the kingdom that Jesus Christ brought into the world when he was born in Bethlehem. "His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:14). This is what we have in Jesus Christ, a kingdom of light. "He who follows me," he said, "will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). How important it is, then, that we follow him with faith.

 

 

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