Of course, I mean no disrespect to GK Chesterton‘s work entitled “The New Jerusalem” by giving that title to my post today. I know that his book deals with a time in history when the Jewish people had not yet been given a state to call home in Israel, but I think the title fits, if you read further into my reflection on today’s Mass readings. Of course, it could help if you read Today’s readings, as well as the Office of Readings that I prayed before beginning this reflection.
Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.
For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep still,
Until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her salvation like a burning torch.a
Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
You shall be called by a new name
bestowed by the mouth of the LORD. (Isaiah 62:1-2)
Observation: I was reminded by my ten-year old son last night as I finished up with faith formation classes with the Hispanic community at our parish and he was heading out of the 5 o’clock Mass, that this first reading can be a powerful reminder of our calling as Christians. He had committed to memory that first verse and repeated it back to me. As I read it again this morning, along with the second verse and the rest of the readings, I realized that the prophet was talking about us too. It is not just the rebuilding of Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, but the rebuilding of our souls through the power of the Holy Spirit. Especially for me, having allowed myself to be held in the Babylonian captivity of
this world, before waking up to the original call that God laid on my heart.
Personification: Joy. If I am going to be able to display the fruit of joy, I must remember that God has called me to be a new creation. I don’t know about the part about being called by another name, because I believe I would have to become a member of a religious community to do that, but maybe there is something to that.
Prayer: Lord, help me remember to display the fruit of joy in my life today and thank you for all you do to keep me faithful to your word. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen!