1st Sunday of Advent - Year A
SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES
Metal was rare and expensive in ancient times. Consequently it had to be reused rather than be scrapped. In times of war, the metal was shaped into swords and spears. When peace seemed evident, a blacksmith would heat and reform it into tools for farming. Plows were made of wood, but had metal tips called "shares" or "shears" because they cut or sheared into the ground. Isaiah predicts that the Messiah would usher in a time of peace and abundance.
THE ARMOR OF LIGHT
Like Jesus, Paul often used examples drawn from daily life to illustrate his teachings. Soldiers in armor would be a common sight in the lands occupied by Rome. They were necessary to maintain order and prevent revolutions. The Roman soldiers may have lived in excess during off-duty moments. The "orgies and drunkenness" would be a witness to the power and degradation of Rome. By non-Romans the Roman Soldiers might have been seen as armies of darkness. Paul suggests that the Christians should don virtues that would be the armor of the forces of light.
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