In our modern times there is perhaps no “parade of nations” more famous than the ceremony that begins the modern Olympic Games. All the nations of the world, national flags at the fore, people dressed for the occasion, with a destination in mind. A reminder of what the Prophet Isaiah foretold in this morning’s first reading.
In days to come, the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills. All nations shall stream toward it; many peoples shall come and say: “Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may instruct us in his ways, and we may walk in his paths.” For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
In the gospel we again receive a foretaste of Isaiah’s prophecy fulfilled as the Centurion comes to Jesus. He came because he had heard of Jesus because “from Zion” went forth instructions.
As the psalm refrain says, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” but when we arrive, we can be spectators only, or we can chose to “go forth from Zion” and speak of our Hope in Jesus to a modern Centurion that he or she may join the parade of nations.