Reading: They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. ( Isaiah 40:31)
Who pardons all your sins, heals all your ills,
Delivers your life from the pit, surrounds you with love and compassion,
Fills your days with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:3-5)
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Observation: It has been a while since I have seen three readings that so perfectly weave together a perfect message like today’s first reading, the responsorial psalm and the Gospel. Isaiah, the prophet, does such an amazing job painting a picture of what renewal comes to those that hope in the Lord. In the responsorial Psalm, I heard a continuation of the message about how the Lord is going to deliver us from our sins and surround us with love and compassion. I took a little poetic license and added the fifth verse from the 103rd Psalm, which wasn’t actually a part of the reading for today, because the imagery of the renewal like the eagle, I thought, continue the message from the first reading. Of course, the words of Jesus that were chosen from the author of Matthew’s Gospel, whether they were taken from the book of Sirach or were the actual words of Jesus at this moment is not important, rather when seen together with the first reading and the responsorial for today, it creates such a beautiful message of hope.
Personification: Joy I will try and focus on displaying the fruit of joy to everyone that I meet today. Joy in the hope that we have in the Lord’s renewal of all that we see around us, and joy that Jesus loved me enough to give himself to be punished and humiliated for my sins. I know that doesn’t sound like a cause for joy, but since Jesus’ suffering happened in the past, I believe it should be cause for joy that we do not have to suffer for eternity for our sins and that the Lord wants to renew us daily in the gift of the Eucharist.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be joyful today in the face of the realities that comes at me in this world. Please supply me with the grace necessary to continue to give the good news to everyone that I meet today and for the rest of my life. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.