A Song for the Chosen People

First Reading: Isaiah 54:1-10
Psalm: Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
Gospel: Luke 7:24-30

Today’s first reading contains a song composed by Yahweh for the
Chosen People. One of the main themes of this song is the betrothal
of the Chosen People to the Lord God who has taken this people to
himself in a covenant of love. Unfortunately the people have been
unfaithful to Yahweh. Stung by his spouse’s infidelity, Yahweh in
anger abandons her, but only for a brief moment. Immediately he
reasserts his love for his spouse: “with great tenderness I will
take you back.” Yahweh then pledges an extraordinary, what we call
today, an unconditioned, love for his spouse:
Though the mountains leave their place
and the hills be shaken,
My love shall never leave you
nor my covenant of peace be shaken,
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
Surely Yahweh, the Father of Jesus, loved John the Baptist with the
same unconditioned love with which he loved his faithless spouse,
Israel. For John had disciplined into his character all those
virtues the nation lacked: John was a man of principle, not a
swaying reed, a man of unswerving fidelity and loyalty to Yahweh.
He put his devotion to his God above all else in his life.
It seems strange therefore, particularly after Jesus had lavished
unstinting praise on John that he should say, “the least born into
the kingdom of God is greater than John.”
Yet Jesus’ words are true. John, great as he was, was only the
Kingdom’s herald. He was not to be a part of, was not to be reborn
into the kingdom. We, though we cannot approach John either in his
single-minded dedication to living out God’s will for him, or in his
fearless commitment to preaching the word of God truthfully no
matter what the cost, we, through God’s goodness and grace, have
been reborn into the Kingdom. This is our glory. We ought to
strive to live our lives with the same dedication and commitment
with which John lived his.
“Lord, let your light burn brightly in my heart that I may know the
joy and freedom of your kingdom. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and
empower me to witness the truth of your gospel and to point others
to Jesus Christ.”