Memory of the Church

Deel Op


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Isaiah 41,13-20

For I, Yahweh, your God, I grasp you by your right hand; I tell you, 'Do not be afraid, I shall help you.' Do not be afraid, Jacob, you worm! You little handful of Israel! I shall help you, declares Yahweh; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. Look, I am making you into a threshing-sledge, new, with double teeth; you will thresh and beat the mountains to dust and reduce the hills to straw. You will winnow them and the wind will carry them off, the gale will scatter them; whereas you will rejoice in Yahweh, will glory in the Holy One of Israel. The oppressed and needy search for water, and there is none, their tongue is parched with thirst. I, Yahweh, shall answer them, I, the God of Israel, shall not abandon them. I shall open up rivers on barren heights and water-holes down in the ravines; I shall turn the desert into a lake and dry ground into springs of water. I shall plant the desert with cedar trees, acacias, myrtles and olives; in the wastelands I shall put cypress trees, plane trees and box trees side by side; so that people may see and know, so that they may all observe and understand that the hand of Yahweh has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is easy, especially in difficult times, to forget the Lord's love, mercy and power and fall prey to fear and dejection. It is easy also for us who live in a time in which fears for today and tomorrow seem to grown. The world has become more complex and difficult to understand. The forces of evil seem to gain ground in the devastation of creation as well as in the destruction of fraternal bonds among the nations. The tragedy of the pandemic has revealed us our fragility. Injustices seem to grow while it is increasingly difficult to find a common dream. People do not live well in a time and a wor4ld in which fear and rage support one another and create an atmosphere of malaise and conflict. Furthermore it seems that nothing can be done: besides we are truly small things, as a "worm" or an "insect" to use the images of the prophet. The prophet reminds us of the presence of God who is the Lord of history and He himself says: "Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you insect Israel! I will help you." This invitation is repeated several times in this brief passage of Isaiah, as if to break down the door of fear that keeps us from seeing the love that has accompanied us throughout our lives. How often, even in the Gospels, must Jesus repeat to the disciples to trust in him and not be afraid! And if it is true that "the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst," it is even truer that the Lord is coming quickly to their aid. The prophet speaks of the new exodus of the people of Israel out of the Babylonian exile: it will be a liberation even more profound than the first, when He made them leave Egypt. In fact, if during the journey through the desert after their first liberation from Egypt, the people of Israel were quenched with water that flowed from a rock, now the Lord will transform the entire desert into a "a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." This is the love of the Lord who works always greater wonders for his people. This love reached its climax with Jesus, who not only came down from heaven to be near to us, but even gave his life to save us from sin and death. We are asked - as the prophet writes - to "see and know" this love and to let our hearts be touched.