All of us have seen the image of the lamb lying with the wolf, but what does it really mean? This reading speaks of a natural serenity not common on earth. The lion is a guest of the lamb, the leopard lies down with a child, and a calf and a lion share company. This is an image of a more modern Eden, brought about by the shoot that sprouts from the stump of Jesse. This sprout is Jesus, He who frees us from our sins. It is because of Him that our sins are forgiven; it is because of Him that we have eternal life. Christmas allows this root to sprout in all of our lives, we just have to be open to receive it.