After writing about the Thought Conditioner “Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live” on Saturday, I tried to listen intently to the readings at Mass on Sunday. I was richly rewarded by the beauty of the first reading.
The desert and the parched land will exult;
the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
They will bloom with abundant flowers,
and rejoice with joyful song.
As I listened to those words, I felt my spirit soaking them up like a sponge. It was as if my heart was the parched land and I could feel God’s love raining down on me, filling me, giving me a song to sing. I imagined that I was blooming and glowing with joy and peace and love.
Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
This part of the reading seems like such a perfect prayer. Strengthen my hands when they are feeble. Help me strengthen others when their hands are feeble. Strengthen my heart when I am frightened and help me to give strength to others when they are afraid. Be with us when we are weak. Be with us when we are frightened.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
they will meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning will flee.
I was sitting in the church yesterday, listening to these words and I realized that I am one who God has ransomed. Divine grace and mercy have rescued me from despair and hopelessness and sadness and now I have come to a place of acceptance and joy. I can enter Zion singing. My city is a city of joy and I can sing the song of the ransomed everywhere I go. Sorrow and mourning will flee. How can I mourn when I have been given so many abundant blessings.
I was so wrapped up in the words of this first reading from Isaiah that I missed the other readings. I kept thinking about how the word of God can revive my dry, hard heart and turn it into a heart of joy and gladness. What wonderful miracles grace can work in a life. I am so grateful for the blessings God has given me.