Monday, December 05, 2005

Hope in Trying Times

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
Break forth, O mountains, into singing!
for the Lord has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his afflicted.

But Zion said, "The Lord has forsaken me,
my Lord has forgotten me."

"Can a woman forget her suckling child,
That she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?"
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
--Isaiah 49:13-15

How often this is me! The heavens and earth are declaring the glory of God, the angels rejoice in wonder at the triumph of the saints and I mope about because God's remembrance of me is not to my exact specifications. So today, we as a Church, perhaps swayed by a media-mentality that prizes controversy over doctrine, fret about scandals, papal pronouncements and political disagreements. We worry because our pope has said that we might become a smaller Church. Is the Church in graver trouble than Israel ca. 450 B.C.? Certainly not! And Israel survived and brought forth Mary and her divine Son who redeemed not only Israel but all sinners. Surely we have nothing to fear!

1 comment:

David F. Buysse said...

Yet a few lines after the lines you quote, the form redemption is to take is described in vivid terms:

"I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with the juice of the grape. All mankind shall know that I, the LORD, am your savior, your redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."

- Isaiah 49:26

Isn't it strange that hopeful images of compassion so often are preceded or followed by jarring images of vengeance?

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.


Origen of Alexandria
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