Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 30:21’

Sunday, June 21, 2020

TS_scroll2[1]Isaiah 25:1

God’s Wonderful Plan

O Lord, you are my God, I will extol you and praise your name; for you have fulfilled your wonderful plans of old, faithful and true.

When life takes a sour turn we have a number of paths from which to choose and even though we might not see them clearly, these opportunities to journey with God are always present.  Over the last several weeks we have examined how to deal with calamity, dark plots, loss and schemes and we have seen that the bread of life, our new manna, always appears when we find ourselves in exodus.  As we move away from the enslavement of paralyzing fear we know that we must take our small footsteps toward our well-deserved freedom; yet each of these small step is an agony when we believe we are traveling alone.  Too often crisis comes upon us with overwhelming anxiety and fear.  Too often this fear becomes doubt.  And too often this doubt convinces us that we are best to travel without companions of any kind.  If this is our thinking . . . we know that we must make an adjustment to allow God’s wonderful plan for us to unfold.

We may be tempted to turn away from people, places or events that bring us happiness thinking that we somehow “jinx” ourselves by anticipating joy and goodness.  And when we do this we avoid God’s wonderful plan for us.

path[1]We may shrink back from the offer of a traveling companion thinking that we can “go it alone” or that “we are better off not weighing anyone else down.”  And when we do this we reject the opportunity for God to visit us with a healing, itinerant angel.

We may avoid sharing our sorrow and grief with others, or we may believe that we are not deserving of a traveling partner who will accompany us through the sticky patches of life.  And when we do this we shut ourselves away from the small miracles that God works as we share our pain with our traveling companions.

We may punish ourselves believing that we have been fooled as does Jeremiah when he cries out: You duped me, O Lord and I let myself be duped (Jeremiah 20:7).  For this reason we may shut ourselves away, we may “tough it out” or we may even try to pretend that all is well.  And when we do this we deprive ourselves of the gift of sharing our yoke with one who bears all burdens well.

I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.  (Jeremiah 29:11)

When we refuse all offer of alliance we refuse God’s wonderful plans and perhaps we are thinking that we are too exhausted or too inept to fight the battle that looms ahead.  And when we think this we forget that . . . The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst.  No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher while from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: “This is the way; walk in it,: when you would turn to the right or to the left”. (Isaiah 30:20-21)

Walking-path[1]God turns all harm to good.  God is faithful and true.  God is compassionate and just.  God is good and gentle.  God is powerful and tender. God is our rock that does not move and upon which we build a strong foundation.  And God is also a shield we carry into any battle that looms ahead.

So let us acknowledge the gift of God’s presence, let us open our hearts to the one who created us, and let us willingly receive the gift of God’s wonderful plan.

If we want to begin a journey but still do not see where or how to take the first step, we can click on the Journeys of Transformation tab on this blog and choose a path.

Images from: http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2010/09/sunday-school-lesson-36-isaiah-1-6/ and http://calebcompany.org/gods-path-to-success/ and http://miriadna.com/preview/walking-path

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Friday, January 17, 2013

Deuteronomy 5: Speaking with God

We have heard his voice from the midst of the fire and we have found out today that a man can still live after God has spoken with him.

Reubens: Teresa of Ávila

Reubens: Teresa of Ávila

Moses acts as mediator for the Chosen People because they believe that anyone who sees the face of God and hears his voice must live no more. This thinking changes when Jesus acts and moves among his people to heal their wounds and cure their anxieties.  This thinking is altered with Jesus’ death and resurrection.  This new idea of a God among us transforms our human fear if we only allow it.  Christ becomes our new arbiter with God, interceding for us with our petitions before the Father.

Like the Hebrews, we also have the opportunity to hear the voice of God.  We might see his face in those who live as Christ asks; but perhaps like the Hebrews, we are a bit afraid to approach the Holy Presence to petition favor.  What we read today tells us that we need not dread God’s presence, and we need not hesitate to ask Jesus for his help . . . this is what he awaits – our realization that he loves us more than we can imagine.

Prayer is the best way to hear the voice of the Creator, Redeemer, and Consoler, and God has advice for us that is better than any offered by any human.   We may not have time for formal, liturgical prayer.  We may not feel comfortable in communal prayer.  We may find that individual prayer lacks direction and intensity.  However, whatever our condition or opinion regarding prayer, we must address all obstacles to it . . . for this is the only way to reach the serenity that God promises, the peace that Christ purchases, and the love that the Holy Spirit offers.

Today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation is taken from words of Teresa of Ávila regarding prayer.  The good that one who practices prayer possesses . . . is that in spite of any wrong they who practice prayer do, they must not abandon prayer since it is the means by which they remedy the situation; and to remedy it without prayer would be much more difficult.

This does not mean to say that those who pray each day have a magical entrée to God’s presence and favor; but what it does say to us is that people who pray daily have a place to take the stresses that come to bear on them as they maneuver their daily obstacle course . . . and that place is God.

We might wish that God would show us a physical smoking presence with a loud booming voice as the Lord does with the Hebrews in today’s reading . . . but would this be more helpful than that quiet voice which speaks to us from behind to which Isaiah refers in 30:21?

We might wish we had stone tablets on which are written God’s words clearly . . . but is this more loving than God’s writing on our hearts as Jeremiah predicts in 31:33?

Teresa of Ávila tells us that she trusts in God’s mercy and love; she perseveres in prayer through the dry times in order to maintain contact with this God of compassion and peace.  When we struggle with our own desire to know God intimately and to commune with him daily, we will know that we are not unique . . . for holy and saintly people have their doubts, their fears and their anxiety when they speak with God.  We can do no worse and no better than this then, to listen for the voice of God . . . a God who loves us in spite of any wrong we commit.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 28.5(2010): 385-386. Print.

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_of_%C3%81vila

Written on May 28, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite.

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Jeremiah 42:3: Paralysis

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Jeremiah 42:3: Let the Lord God show us what way we should take and what we should do.

Several options lie before us; we cannot decide what to do.

Our opponents attack us: we cannot decide what to say.

We become blinded by our quickly paced life; we are deafened by too many voices that clamor for our attention.

God says: Let me show you which way to go; let me give you the words you are to speak.  Even if you are afraid to go where I call or to give voice to my love . . . you need not fear.  I will never abandon you.  All you need do is listen.  All you need do is be still.  And a voice from behind shall sound in your ears telling you when to turn to the right or to the left as my prophet Isaiah has said (30:21).

When we are too confused and too paralyzed to react let us be still . . . to listen.  Let us put our trust in God . . . to speak.  Let us believe that God lives in us . . . and act.  For in this way the paralysis we see as curse . . . becomes a transforming gift.

To Change The Way You See Fear, click on the image above or go to: http://www.jasonkonopinski.com/2012/06/14/change-the-way-you-see-fear/

Enter the words Be Still or Isaiah 30:21 in the blog search box and reflect on how God speaks to us today.

A re-post from July 25, 2012.

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Jeremiah 39:1-14Remaining Among the People

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Soord: Lost Sheep

We have read about Jeremiah in the dungeon (Chapter 37) and Jeremiah in the miry cistern (Chapter 38); now we read about his capture . . . and that he remained among the people.  Just yesterday I spoke with a friend about her reluctance to do something that would cause her great pain.  I said that rather than focus on the suffering that an experience was bound to bring her, she might just want to focus on tending to God’s lost sheep.  This was something she said she could do.  I had heard the Jeremiah in her anticipate the lack of understanding she was about to meet.  I heard her fear of her own unpredictable emotions rising.  We spoke about patience, persistence and witnessing.  And we spoke about how we cannot control people or events, of how we can barely sometimes control ourselves.  Life brings us these difficult lessons to learn.  Life also brings us unmeasurable reward . . . if we only learn to remain among the people.

Yesterday’s Gospel reminded us of something we may want to carry with us everywhere and it is this: When we are fearful of something we must do we are likely relying on ourselves too much.  And we are likely forgetting to rely on God.  Jesus tells his disciples in Luke 12:8-12 that we need not worry about our circumstances – even when they are dire – if we remain in him, in God.  When we allow the Spirit to direct us, we cannot fail.  When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.  For the Holy Spirit will teach you at the moment what you should say.  Jesus may be remembering the words from Isaiah 30:21: From behind, a voice will sound in your ears: “This is the way; walk in it,” when you would turn to the right or to the left.  Both the Old and New Testament remind us that when we live in the Spirit, we cannot falter.  When we remain with God’s people, we will not go wrong.  When we follow Christ, we may suffer but we will never be lost.

We are often reminded to witness, watch and wait on the Lord and so we pray from Psalm 5 in today’s MAGNIFICAT Morning Prayer: It is you whom I invoke, O Lord.  In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.  You are no God who loves evil; no sinner is your guest.  The boastful shall not stand their ground before your face.  But I through the greatness of your love have access to your house.  I bow down before your holy temple, filled with awe.  All those you protect shall be glad and ring out their joy.  You shelter them; in you they rejoice, those who knew your name.  It is you who bless the just one, Lord: you surround the just one as with a shield. 

I asked my friend to see herself as a shepherd who gathers lambs to bring them into the fold at night.  I asked that she put all her worry into prayer. And I asked that she rely on God to bring goodness out of harm.

In the end, Jesus reminds us, God is all there is.  In the end, we do not want to wait on anyone or anything else.  In the end, all that is asked of us is that we witness, watch and wait.  Rather than succumb to the familiar fears that govern us poorly and use us badly, we will want to remember to gather ourselves and to gather lost sheep even as we remain among God’s people.  For it is in, and of and through Christ that we are saved and brought back to God.  It is in, and of and through the Spirit that we are consoled.  And it is in, and of and through God that we are made whole.  And in the end – when we can manage to remain with God’s people – we remember well that . . . God is all there is.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 16.10 (2011): 239. Print. 

A re-post from October 16, 2011.

Image from: http://personalitydevelopmentbeyourbest.blogspot.com/2011/07/letter-from-lost-sheepif-lost-sheep.html

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Matthew 9:32-34: Seek Consolation – Speechless

Thursday, December 21, 2017

4th Century Roman image of Jesus

“We have never seen anything like this in Israel!” they exclaimed.

God says: I complete miracles among you each day. I cause the sun to rise, the tides to roll and the moon to bring light to the darkness. I cause your heart to beat, your lungs to rise and fall. You are so fully enveloped in your world that you often miss the many ways I call out to you, asking nothing more than your love and praise of me. When doubt creeps into your mind, as it always does, re-read the many stories of miracles I worked among you as Jesus the Christ. When anxiety takes over your heart, as it often does, remember the many miracles my Spirit continues to work among you. When you find yourself speechless in your daily walk in the world, only rest in and rely on me to bring you the words that you will need. I sent my prophet Isaiah to remind that . . . If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” (Isaiah 30:21) Remember that my love is greater than any doubt or anxiety, my love for you is greater than any obstacle you perceive.

When we find ourselves speechless in the face of trauma or calamity, we seek consolation in the presence of God.

Comparing translations of these verses brings us new confidence to listen for the voice that tells us which way to walk and which way to go.

To learn more about the early Christians and the Roman Catacombs, click on the image above or visit: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/05/30/the-catacombs-remind-us-of-the-courage-and-steadfastness-of-the-early-christians/ 

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1 Corinthians 2:1-3: Polished Speeches

Tuesday, February 14, 2017isaiah-30-21

I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.

In our present world we might well hesitate to speak or act for fear of abandonment or retribution. Paul and Isaiah give us words we need to hear.

God says: If you do not speak up for my little ones because you worry about finding the words for a polished speech, you go astray. When you live in me, my Holy Spirit will give you the words you will need. If you do not act in defense of the marginalized because you fear you do not have enough courage, you wander far from The Way. When you live in Christ, my Son will give you the strength and persistence to act as you know you must act. Rest in my Spirit and you are never without resource. Abide in Christ and you are never alone. Remain in me and you will never be without all that you need to see you through this day.

Isaiah says: If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, “Here is the road. Follow it.” (30:21)

When we compare various translations of these verses, we find the strength to persevere in the face of obstacles, and graceful words for our simple but polished speeches.

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college_nature_imageThursday, April 10, 2014

Ears to Hear

We approach Palm Sunday on the pathway we have chosen. As we near the celebration of the Paschal Mystery, we will want to have ears to hear the Word of God so that we might take heart when we are discouraged, so that we might have hope when we are in despair, so that we might have light when we are in darkness.

The prophet Jeremiah cries out: To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it. (Jeremiah 6:10)

The prophet Isaiah replies: Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)

The prophet Ezekiel tells us: And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 40:4)

The psalmist replies: We have heard with our ears, O God, our forefathers have told us, the deeds you did in their days, in the days of old. (Psalm 44:1)

In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus tells us: Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:43)

The evangelist John records Jesus as saying: Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears my word, and believes the one who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)

Once we hear God’s Word we will want to reply. We need not use words. We need only act. As we near the Easter banquet, let us decide how we will reply to the one who calls us to live as Children of the Living God.

To understand more about The Paschal Mystery in our daily lives, and for a few reflection questions, go to: http://www.loyolapress.com/the-paschal-mystery-in-everyday-life.htm

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

will-religion-become-a-thing-of-the-past.jpg.crop_display[1]Amos 8:11

A Famine of Hearing

Yes, days are coming, says the Lord God, when I will send famine upon the land; not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the Lord.

The Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 begins: Hear, O Israel!  And yet, do we listen? In 1 Samuel 3:11 we are told: The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle”.  The prophet Isaiah tells us Isaiah 30:21: Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. From Jeremiah 19:3: Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle.  And Ezekiel 12:2: Son of man, you live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.  Zechariah 7:11: But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.  And Jesus in Mark 4:23: He who has ears to hear, let him hear.  And yet . . . do we listen?  What is the origin of our famine of hearing?

God says: When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to him, he spoke by way of a parable: “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled underfoot and the birds of the air ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out.  Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As he said these things, he would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  (Luke 8:4-8)

For millennia God has spoken to us.  We humans have the spiritual ears to hear.  Let us be bearers of the word, witnesses of the kingdom, and carriers of the Good News.  And let us do all that we can to end this famine of hearing.

For more information about The Shema, visit: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/shema.html or enter the word Shema in the blog search bar and explore.

For a commentary on the famine of the word (“Will Religion Become a Thing of the Past”), click on the image above or go to: http://www.ucg.org/commentary/will-religion-become-thing-past/

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