1st Reading – Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
This week’s first reading is the second of four passages (42:1-7; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:12) traditionally known as the Servant Songs of Isaiah. (Last week’s first reading was the first servant song.) They describe poetically the person (or nation) that will bring people to an awareness of God’s power, justice, and love.
In order to fully appreciate the hope that Isaiah was offering the exiles in today’s reading we must understand just how traumatic the Babylonian exile was for the Israelites. Not only did they lose their king, their kingdom, and their temple, but their whole self-concept as God’s chosen people was challenged. After all, God had promised to protect them, telling David that his kingdom would be secure forever. What then was the meaning of this present horrible experience? Continue reading “Jan 15, 2023: 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)”