Week of January 11, 2015

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All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! (Isaiah 55:1)

In this section of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah the prophet is speaking words of comfort for the benefit of his contemporaries in exile in Babylonia. The prophet is urging people not to focus on themselves and commiserate with one another over the tragedy that had befallen them, but to focus on rebuilding the relationship with God that had been broken by their infidelity. This section of Isaiah (Deutero-Isaiah) was never one to dwell on the negative, but was full of promises and hope for the future.

Isaiah encourages us to seek the Lord. It is a time to turn to the Lord for mercy. Turn to God who is generous in forgiving. When was the last time you turned to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If it has been a while, even a long while, celebrating this Sacrament would be a good
resolution for this New Year. Our Lord longs to forgive us and with this forgiveness comes a grace to rebuild our relationship with God.

In the final verses of this text Isaiah uses nature to illustrate the effectiveness of God’s word. In a land where aridity was the order of the day, the coming of the early and late rains brought about a dramatic transformation. Dry and seemingly barren land was suddenly alive with green shoots and flowering buds. Where a harvest of wheat or barley had looked like an impossible dream, the fields were soon waving with heavy heads of grain. “So shall my word be,” promised God. Just as the earth is transformed by the rains, so shall God’s word achieve the purpose for which it was spoken. In this instance, the word spoken by God was one of forgiveness and restoration for the people of Judah. Later, when God spoke the Word, Jesus, into time and space, his intended mission was the redemption and reconciliation of all humankind with God. (Taken from Celebration, Patricia Sanchez)

Patricia Sanchez concludes her reflection by saying, “In a sense, each of us is also a word spoken by God into human history. In our uniqueness, each of us has a goal that God has given us. The goal is to further the salvific mission of Jesus in the particular venue and among the particular people God has given us in this world.

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