Thus says the Lord: In a time of favor I have answered you, on a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, “Come out,” to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.”
They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them.
And I will turn all my mountains into a road, and my highways shall be raised up. Lo, these shall come from far away, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene.
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 suffering ones. But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
Have you ever felt like you were all alone, isolated and solitary in the world? Ever felt like your work didn’t matter? Feelings of irrelevance and insignificance only compound the loneliness and isolation many feel today. “What difference does it make?” quickly devolves into “What difference do I make?” And that devolves into, “Why should I even try to make a difference?”
Today’s first reading reminds us that it all makes a difference. While we intellectually know that God never forgets, the writer of Isaiah reminds us of God’s visceral interest in our lives; deeper and more emotional than the care of a young mother for her newborn child.
I confess this Lent that I may never fully comprehended this fact: God’s love for me (and you!) is never failing, never faltering, never ending. My life matters. Your life matters. So how will I live out this truth today?
—Howard Craig serves as Provincial Assistant for Advancement on behalf of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Province Jesuits.
— Daily Examen (a version used by the students at Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL)
1. God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.
2. God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and help me to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and this morning.
3. God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others, and open to growth.
4. God forgive me when I have not done my best or treated others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.
5. As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.
6. Conclude with the Our Father
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