“Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
What aren’t we hearing, then? So often we miss the memo, miss the message – whether from the Lord or from others in our own life. Why? Maybe it’s from sheer inattentiveness, maybe it’s a product of our own stubbornness or maybe it’s an unwillingness to listen.
All of these present obstacles to living our Christian life, as the Lord never stops speaking to us. It is we who don’t pay attention. It is we who believe that we can live a good, holy, moral life all on our own, without any assistance. It is we who choose to stop listening to Him. Yet, despite all of our shortcomings, God never stops pursuing us!
The Lord is trying to tell us so much in this First Reading from Isaiah, if only we can open our ears and open our hearts.
Here, his message is simple. “I will help you.” Isaiah then paints a vivid picture to describe how the Lord helps, using a very interesting choice of words. Jacob is described as a worm and Israel as a maggot. Worms and maggots can’t do much on their own. Any usefulness is dependent upon the worm or maggot being acted upon by someone or something outside of itself. For example, birds will eat worms for food but the bird must first be hungry. The worm can’t do anything on its own to feed the bird.
There isn’t much to a worm or a maggot but that doesn’t stop the Lord. With His help, Israel can then become a “threshing sledge, sharp, new and double-edged.” With the Lord’s help, Israel can thresh the mountain, make the hills like chaff and winnow them away. From being as lowly as a worm to being powerful enough to act upon nature – that’s what the Lord’s help can do.
What help can He offer us, then? Almost anything that we can imagine, we can call upon the Lord for His help. Nothing is too big and nothing is too small for Him. In fact, God waits for his beloved sons and daughters to ask for His help, much like we would go to our own earthly fathers for a solution to our problems.
The Lord is ever ready to lend a hand to His people. May we not be too proud to extend our own hand to Him and accept what He offers.
Erin Madden is a Cleveland native and graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Following graduation, she began volunteering in youth ministry at her home parish of Holy Family Church. Her first “big girl” job was in collegiate sports information where, after a busy two years in the profession on top of serving the youth, she took a leap of faith and followed the Lord’s call to full-time youth ministry at St. Peter Church. She still hopes to use her communication arts degree as a freelance writer and statistician, though. You can catch her on the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter @erinmadden2016.
Feature Image Credit: Ahad Uddin, https://unsplash.com/photos/CcLnk83hH7g