I heard a story about Mother Teresa when she was beginning
her ministry to the poor and dying in Calcutta, India. She had
taken a plate of food to a woman who was trying to keep herself
and her family alive. The woman thanked her for the food and
quickly scraped half of it into a pot. Then she started for the door,
at which point Mother Teresa asked where she was going. The
woman told her that her neighbor was also hungry.
Isaiah pleads for the people to call upon the Lord and begin
to show compassion for others by unburdening them; by no
longer articulating harsh thoughts; through acts of charity like
feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and relieving some of
the suffering that surrounds them. Then not only will those
they help experience relief, but those acting in a compassionate
manner will begin to experience life in a new and different way.
They will become bearers of light instead of adding to the gloom
Isaiah also reminds us that if we call upon the Lord, the
Lord will answer, “Here I am.” It is hard sometimes to navigate
this life of faith. But we can often overthink it and struggle by
making impossible demands on ourselves. In essence this is not
rocket science. It is about reaching out and making others the
center of our concern.
To live our faith daily is the goal of the faithful. Through
acts as simple as those to which Isaiah calls his people, we act
out of love for God. And as we reach out to others in care, we
shall find ourselves renewed. The Lord will satisfy our needs,
strengthening our bones to be about our chosen work. Then we
will become repairers of the breach, restorers of streets.
Show us your pathway, Lord, that we who follow might become bearers of light so that others can journey in your footsteps. Amen.
Living genuinely out of a deep inner sense of connectedness to the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is a common theme for this week’s texts. By living out of this spiritual center, we match our actions with our words and avoid the judgment the prophet Isaiah casts upon the people of Israel. Psalm 112 is a hymn of praise for the blessings God brings upon those who revere and follow. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he urges them to move beyond their irtation with wisdom and to go to the deeper regions of the Spirit, the source of true wis- dom. And, nally, Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, calls his listeners to move beyond the mere words of the law to the deep meaning and intent of the law.
• Read Isaiah 58:1-12. When have you felt strengthened by God for a particular task? How did your light “break forth like the dawn”?
• Read Psalm 112:1-10. Where have you been a light to those struggling in the shadows?
• Read 1 Corinthians 2:1-16. When have you faced unimaginable circumstances and had no words to speak? How did God’s wisdom help you in those times?
• Read Matthew 5:13-20. How do you ful ll God’s intended purpose for you as salt and light to the world?
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