THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT
To fully understand the first verses of Isaiah 54, we have to turn to the dark period of Israel’s exile. During the Babylonian captivity, the Temple was destroyed, and the Israelites were taken from the land God had given them. In their distress, many turned away from God to worship false gods. In the midst of this chaos and woe, the prophet foretells God’s response: his everlasting love. God will not withdraw from Israel. God does not put his people away, as if he had divorced them. Instead, the prophet speaks of God’s response, saying, “But with enduring love I take pity on you, / says the Lord, your redeemer” (Is 54:8). We Christians see in this promise the enduring covenant of Christ, the Redeemer, made to his bride the Church.
Heavenly Father, by your mercy you restored Israel, leading your people back from exile. Grant me confidence in your Church, the bride of Christ, which you continue to love down to the present day. Amen.
Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? Look to God for the grace to offer that person mercy today.