Thus says the Lord God: I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms. They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions.
I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children’s children shall live there forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever.
I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them forevermore.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The images of reconciliation and peace in this reading resonate with me at this particular moment in time. With the deep political divide in our country, divisions within our Church, tension among nations, and now fears about the coronavirus, it does seem that only a miracle could bring about true harmony and peace among the people of our world. As we come to the end of the Lenten season and prepare for the joy of Easter, the fact is that we are the ones who can work toward bridging the divides and calming the tensions and fears that are so prevalent in society. God can use our efforts, no matter how small, to help bring about miracles. But it is up to us to take that initial step and extend peace and love to those around us.
How can I be an instrument of reconciliation and peace to those around me today?
—Mandy Dillon is a Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat Center in Barrington, IL.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.Please share the Good Word with your friends!