To Those in Darkness: Show Yourselves


Lenten Reflection for the Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1IS 49:8-15, Responsorial Psalm PS 145:8-9, 13CD-14, 17-18, Gospel JN 5:17-30

In the first reading from Isiah, God promises a covenant  to the people that will restore the land. In issuing this covenant, The Lord does not simply wave a magic wand and transform evil into good. If someone wants to be saved, God gives instructions that must be obeyed.

For example, God commands ” the prisoners: Come out!/ To those in darkness: Show yourselves!” First people must listen and obey God’s call to step out of the darkness into the light of truth, step away from their old ways and start on the spiritual journey. Once they have chosen the path, the Lord will have pity on them.

As the Lord leads them on the road of salvation, He will supply their need for food and water, cut paths through the mountains and make level the highway.The fact that the God of the entire universe takes time to comfort His people and show mercy to the afflicted should entice heaven and earth to break out in song.

As is typical, Zion does the opposite: they complain.  It is a  complaint voiced repeatedly by all followers of God, time and time again “The LORD has forsaken me;/ my Lord has forgotten me.” Rather than getting angry, God must once again reassure His people with the famous words which we repeat in songs and hymns

“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget.”

To pierce through our stubborn disbelief and entrenched fears, God compare Himself to a devoted mother who would never forget her small newborn.  In the face of these last few lines from Isiah, our only response can be to join in the joyful praise of the Responsorial Psalm PS  “The LORD is gracious and merciful,/slow to anger and of great kindness/.The LORD is faithful in all his words.

The Gospel reveals the irritation of those who have worldly power and authority and consequently have no need of salvation. These are the strong, proud folks who are upset with Christ, indignant that He dares to call God His Father and angry enough to try to kill Him. In the face of such outrage, Jesus remains humble and calm, yet He speaks the truth about Himself with boldness and authority.  Jesus explains that He has the power and authority from God his Father to judge man.

Only those who hear the voice of Christ receive the Resurrection of life rather than condemnation. Let’s meditate on these words of Christ as we get ready to participate in the Pascal Mysteries.Christ Icon - Alpha Omega - IC XC

 

 

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