The First reading today comes from Isaiah a book that knows the tragedy of Jerusalem conquered and her peoples dispersed, many in exile in Babylon. And yet the prophet calls on this same Jerusalem to rejoice at the healing and restoration that God has for her.
In our day too Jerusalem is a tragic place and a place where constantly people turn to God in hope for restoration and healing. Muslims, Christians, Jews all turn to God and look for his intervention, for his will to triumph over political vicissitudes and human sinfulness. In their prayer (our prayer) we may have very different futures in mind – and so even our prayer can be part of the problem blocking God’s will – and yet at our best we turn to God and ask that God’s will be fulfilled, on earth as in heaven.
be glad for her, all you who love her!
Rejoice, rejoice for her,
all you who mourned her!
That you may be suckled, filled,
from her consoling breast,
that you may savour with delight
her glorious breasts.
For thus says the Lord:
Now towards her I send flowing
peace, like a river,
and like a stream in spate
the glory of the nations.
At her breast will her nurslings be carried
and fondled in her lap.
Like a son comforted by his mother
will I comfort you.
And by Jerusalem you will be comforted.
At the sight your heart will rejoice,
and your bones flourish like the grass.
To his servants the Lord will reveal his hand.
Our prayer too, our prayer for the future of all sorts of things may be a way of God’s will being fulfilled and sometimes might be an attempt to frustrate God’s will!
- Where do you feel your will and God’s are at one?
- Where do you feel/fear that might not be the case?
Sunrise over Temple Mount, looking to the Mount of Olives. (c) 2013, Allen Morris