Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
If you were given the assignment to find a gentle loving description of God in the Bible, where would you look? You would probably choose the New Testament, right? Yes, unfortunately, most people imagine God from the Old Testament as the towering mountaintop judge of the 10 Commandments, reducing people to awe and fear. That picture of God can be difficult to love.
Fortunately, as in today’s first reading, it’s possible to find different and gentler pictures of God in the Old Testament. God chose prophets to speak for Him and the law. Sometimes those prophets had to speak God’s word in harsh warnings and condemnation because the people had become unfaithful and hard-hearted.
The Prophet Isaiah was a wonderful prophet gifted in being able to speak for God in thunderous oratory, but also in the language of a gentle loving mother. When the exiled Israelites were wondering if God had forgotten them, what could be more comforting than these soothing words of God as interpreted through the poetic gift of the Prophet Isaiah:
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you. (Is 49:15)
How moving and beautiful coming from the Old Testament! But God’s care for us is spoken directly to us, without intermediary, through the person of Jesus. Jesus, the fullness of the Father, took on our human nature in an act of overwhelming love! This is the New Covenant! God gives us a new language to understand and respond to God’s word to us. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s Word to us. As someone said: “God is crazy in love with us! And ‘Jesus is the Way, the Life, and the Truth’ to handle that thought!”
1) What was your image of God as you were growing up and has it changed?
2) How has Jesus revealed the face of God to you?
Reflection by Fr. Daniel Petsche, OSB