The Magnanimity of God
The most beautiful aspect of today’s first reading from the Prophet Isaiah is the prophet’s vision of how the entire world comes to Jerusalem to worship God. While it is a common sight for the people of Israel to gather together and climb up the mountain towards the Temple of Jerusalem for their national feasts, it is uncommon that other nations should join them. Yet this is the vision shown to Isaiah, that the days are coming when even the whole world will come and worship the one true God.
Biblical studies call this the theme of universalism. It is a movement or trend in Israel where they see themselves as an instrument for the world to worship God. Through the witness of the whole nation of Israel, the world will come to know God and offer Him praise. God does not limit his love and grace to his chosen people but extends it to the ends of the world.
Many times, religions, even our own, have the tendency to keep God to ourselves, to set up exclusive clubs of the saved, and to deny others the dignity of being called up to the mountain. God however is magnanimous. While human love is limited and measured, God’s love is boundless and does not know nationality.
The message of Advent is the promise of salvation for all. Everyone is called by God. Everyone is called to Jerusalem where everyone will encounter the Lord and offer his worship and praise. Just as the love and promise of God is magnanimous, we are called today to be magnanimous to our neighbors.
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