First Reading: Isaiah 65:17-21
Gospel: John 4:43-54
WE ARE THE PEOPLE OF PROMISE
Today’s first reading from Isaiah is filled with hope and the promise of restoration and new life. The Jewish kingdom had been destroyed; its people enslaved and its land laid waste. The survivors were depressed and demoralized. The Lord, speaking through the mouth of the prophet, says, “Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth…there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create…I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight…no longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying…” The Lord asserts the fact that He is faithful even though the people have not been faithful. His faithfulness endures forever. The day will come when all will be well. The people need to put aside their sinful ways and turn to Him.
The world of Isaiah is not unlike our own. We live in violent times, filled with uncertainties. Below the surface a creeping fear gnaws away at us. We live under the real threat of nuclear devastation. We continue to plunder the resources of our world making it less habitable for God’s creatures as well as we humans. The moral fabric of our society continues to unravel under the guise of freedom. Violence increasingly penetrates the most sacred of places, e.g., schools as weapon-obsessed politicians and vested interest groups turn a deaf ear to proposals for the most minimal of restraints. Where is God in all of this.
God is present in the pain and chaos of our world. God suffers with us. God aches for us and with us. Our Lenten journey reminds us that God so loved the world that God entered into the messiness of our world in the person of God’s only begotten Son to be Our Savior – to save us from ourselves. In the person of Jesus, God became one of us, taught us a whole new way of living and gave Himself completely and totally for us . This total self-giving found its expression in His Passion, Death and Resurrection. We are the people of promise. We believe that if we turn away from our sinfulness and embrace Jesus’ teachings, we shall find meaning and purpose in our lives. We shall live a new life here on earth and when our earthly journey is ended, we shall live the fullness of life forever in God’s loving embrace.
Brother Andre Mathieu, C.P.