By Kevin Burke, LSW
That cute little baby in the manger is carrying a sword.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Mathew 10:34)
When Jesus speaks of bringing a sword in Mathew’s Gospel, this is clearly not a call to physical violence (see Mathew 26:52.). Jesus speaks of the fact that his words, actions and teaching will cause division, foment controversy, and at times provoke a violent reaction.
But this sword also points to the fearsome power of the Risen Christ as he comes again with his power and glory fully revealed. Jesus will consummate his victory over Satan and unleash the mercy and justice of God upon the nations:
From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. – (Revelation 19:5)
To Us a Child Is Given
We live our lives within the boundaries of this brief journey through a particular time and place. But mysteriously, our lives are also woven into an eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil, light and darkness that in time will reach their climax with the Second Coming of the Christ.
Advent touches upon this great mystery in such powerful ways.
Israel was called forth in time to be a people set apart and formed in a special way by Yahweh. In a similar way, the humble daughter of Israel, the Virgin Mary was set apart for her special vocation. Mary humbly accepted the awesome vocation as the mother of the Christ and offered her consecrated womb, and her entire life to bring her son Jesus into the world.
Prepare for Battle
In Revelation John says Satan is “the deceiver of the whole world.”
The incarnation of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary intensified Satan’s hatred and rage against humanity, and especially of women and their unborn children.
It seems clear that over the last 100 years Satan has made a woman’s body and womb, human sexuality and reproduction, and gender as special battle grounds where he manifests his passion to deceive and destroy.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
In this Advent season we have a time of preparation to once again welcome the Savior into our hearts, homes and communities. In this time of peace and preparation – let us also prepare for battle.
This is a battle is for the heart, mind and soul of the human family. We must pray to God for renewed zeal to fight against abortion and other attacks upon marriage and the family. We fight not with anger, derision or with hatred toward those we oppose.
We act in love and concern for the unborn and all who are being deceived by Satan. We pray and work to bring all those wounded by their participation in the death of the unborn to reconciliation and healing in Christ Jesus.
We know that without God’s grace, we can do nothing.
We rely on continual repentance and the deepest humility, immersion in the Word of God, prayer with our fellow Christians and pro life advocates, rosary, and for sacramental Christians, Reconciliation and Eucharist.
Remember, He is coming soon! (Revelation 22:7)