Take just a moment or two to reflect on life for refugees in our world today, who have had to flee their homeland, and we can begin to sense the painful emptiness the people of Israel felt during the Babylonian Exile, and the hardships they experienced. But it was actually much worse. They had no choice, and were literally ripped from their homeland and led away. No wonder then that as 2nd Isaiah sensed God was about to bring them back home, he wrote lofty poetry inspired by God. Our 1st reading today from chapter 62 of Isaiah brings us much closer to the return, and the joy crescendos. Most likely this reading was chosen to go with the Gospel today because of the beautiful wedding imagery. God’s covenant with us expressed as a marriage is an image that echoes throughout the Bible. This reading is a great one for lectio divina, or ‘holy reading’. Read it once. Read it again slowly, letting it soak in. Read it a third time, and hear God giving us each a new name, calling us ‘My delight”, “Espoused.” Hear Isaiah telling us God rejoices over us. How does that change your week?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016