The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The end of times will be a transition in which the world will return to its original glory and perfection. The state of the end times is beyond any human’s imagination and because of this is often thought of as a scary scene. However, when looking at the reading from today, when the end times come, the common sins that divide humanity and provoke war one against another (swords and spears) are transformed into tools to distribute the riches that God provides. I like to think that the end of times is when the smudges of human desire and imperfection are wiped clean from our glasses so we can finally see clearly the glory of God and God’s gifts.
God our Father,
as St Francis Xavier travelled to the ends of the earth,
impelled by love of Christ and afire with his good news,
give me the trust and the grace to base all that I do entirely on you,
safe in the knowledge that you raise up the lowly
and fill them with good things.
Through Christ our Lord.
—Prayer from Day 9 of the Novena to St. Francis Xavier, published by the Jesuit Institute London