The First reading at Mass today, the 5th Sunday of Lent, remembers the Lord’s power and glory, manifested in the past, but with its greatest achievement still lying ahead: the winning of a faithful people, a faithful creation even.
Thus says the Lord,
who made a way through the sea,
a path in the great waters;
who put chariots and horse in the field
and a powerful army
which lay there never to rise again,
snuffed out, put out like a wick:
No need to recall the past,
no need to think about what was done before.
See, I am doing a new deed,
even now it comes to light; can you not see it?
Yes, I am making a road in the wilderness,
paths in the wilds.
The wild beasts will honour me,
jackals and ostriches,
because I am putting water in the wilderness
(rivers in the wild)
to give my chosen people drink.
The people I have formed for myself
will sing my praises.
The prophet Isaiah looks forward to the healing of a broken world, the achievement of all that was frustrated by sin.
Wild beats – jackels and ostriches! – will respond gratefully and fully.
Will we? We still have the opportunity to frustrate God’s loving, saving will. How will we respond?
‘Jackels and ostriches? I’m grateful too’. Gorilla in London Zoo. (c) 2010, Allen Morris