By Mary Ellen Barrett
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.” ~ Isaiah 50:4
Isaiah was not known for his subtle approach to communicating God’s word to his followers. He is my favorite Old Testament prophet because he was not afraid to be bold, very bold in his denouncement of leaders, kings, and high priests. Not being known for meekness in opinion sharing, I appreciate this approach; it has its place, but in this, the third Servant’s Song, Isaiah is speaking of a man who has been through great indignity, great suffering and humiliation, and God has allowed this suffering to train his tongue to speak to those who are weary and without hope. This suffering servant embraced, with complete obedience, the sorrow that united him to God by allowing him to rely entirely on God. He confidently stands before those who would revile him, knowing they have no power over him. He is not boldly denouncing his detractors in an Isaiah-like fashion; rather, he is turning towards the buffets and spitting.
“The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame;” Isaiah 50:7
It is so countercultural to accept slings and arrows in the present day. To bow our heads and accept, humbly and obediently, that God has a plan that might not include being at the forefront of whatever social media onslaught is currently raging. If we look at whom this servant prefigures, Our Lord, and his obedient walk this week, quietly suffering horribly, we see the example of complete obedience and the fruits of real suffering – Eternal life.
As we journey with Christ in his suffering this week, can we quietly listen to what path he is calling us to walk as well? Can we look at how we are suffering and accept them, knowing that trusting this to His perfect plan will be to share in His perfect holiness? Can we sing out so quietly that heaven rejoices in our song?
Lord Jesus Christ, allow my sufferings to be united to yours and to draw me closer to you in your most Sacred Heart. I ask this in your most Holy Name. Amen.
Call to Action
If you are not experiencing any suffering, you will not have to look far to find someone who is. Reach out to someone who may need a friend. A phone call, a hot meal, or a coffee date can be life-changing for someone in need.
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When my 35 year old son died, three years ago on 12.16.19, it was the most sorrowful time of my life. I couldn’t imagine living without him. Still can’t, but by God’s grace, I am. I’ve had a lot of suffering, but nothing compares to losing your child. The people who helped me the most were the ones who (without asking me) went ahead and DID something in their own way. Brought a meal, called me – rather than a text, sent a card to me on the six month mark, one year mark of his death date, sending me books, offered Masses for the repose of his soul, etc. Yes, these people were so kind and helped in their own simple way, to let me know they cared for a grieving mother. To reach out to a suffering soul, is one of the greatest gifts we can give. +JMJ+
I completely agree.