As I write this column, it is Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent. The opening words of the First Reading came from the Prophet Isaiah at Mass this day were the following:
“Thus says the Lord; ‘Lo I am about to create new heavens and a new earth…’” (Is 65:17)
In a monthly devotional, Give Us This Day (published by the Benedictines of The Liturgical Press and similar to Magnificat), the reflection written by Kathy McGovern is certainly appropriate for this time:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth, God says. A new earth sound wonderful right now, doesn’t it? A more peaceful earth, a cleaner earth, a place of peace and of healing.”
Considering the fact that the reflection was penned several months before publication, its insight is so fitting as our world faces the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this renewal, as Isaiah prophesies, was needed in his time just as it is necessary in every age and era. Its fullness comes in the person of Jesus Christ – the Incarnate Word of God the Father. In our encounters with Him, renewal of the earth – from which we have been fashioned by the Creator (cf. Gn 2:7) – happens and must be sustained.
So in these challenging times what are you doing from where you are to help others encounter Christ? It may be as simple as a phone call, a text message or a social media post that reminds someone God is in our midst – Emmanuel, God-with-us.