SAINT PATRICK, BISHOP (OPTIONAL MEMORIAL)
Can a mother forget her infant?
Today’s first reading (Isaiah 49:8-15) contains many beautiful images that convey God’s love and care for us. It’s a message that is just as comforting for us today as it must have been for the Israelites of the time, who had been exiled from their homeland.
These Israelites are the same people who tried to kill the prophet Jeremiah. They’re the same people who ignored Ezekiel’s warnings to repent, who sacrificed to false gods, and who practiced grave injustices against the poor and marginalized. Their sins led to their unfortunate situation.
And yet here is God, in his tenderness and mercy, promising to lead them home and care for them along the way. Here is God comparing himself to a mother who never forgets her child.
Because of all the times the Israelites strayed from God, you might wonder: how could he still want to help them? We tend to superimpose our human nature onto God and assume that he would act as we do when we feel that we’ve been wronged—with anger, bitterness, self-pity, or revenge in our hearts. But God doesn’t think or act that way. He isn’t hurt if we ignore him. He doesn’t derive a sense of restitution or satisfaction by watching us suffer. His biggest concern is our well-being—and he always knows what is best for us. As today’s psalm says, “The Lord is good to all” (Psalm 145:9). Not just to the saints, but also to the worst kinds of sinners. He hasn’t forgotten anyone. He is always ready to forgive them and bring them back home to him.
The same goes for you! So take heart in today’s message of redemption. Look for God’s blessings in your life. Can you see the ways that he is trying to draw you closer to him? Even when you fall into sin, remember that he is a Father who loves you and wants to set you on a path toward healing and peace. His goodness is overflowing!
“Thank you, Father, for your unending mercy and the promise of your salvation!”
Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18
WORD AMONG US