“I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.” - Isaiah 48:17
Sometimes it can be hard to stay totally faithful to the Law of the Lord. It seems like there is so much being demanded of us in this pursuit of holiness and the overbearing feeling that might bring along. And yet there is reassurance in our first reading as the Lord speaks through the Prophet Isaiah and tells us that he only teaches that which is for our own good. All that he commands is for what is best for us and is based within this total love that God has for us. Even when it can be tough, He calls us on to something greater because God knows what is best for us.
At times I have found it daunting to obey the precepts of the God. There are days it feels like He is asking more of me than what I am capable of. I am never certain that I can truly live up to the measures that He sets for me. I even sometimes doubt that the way He sets forth is worth the effort to live it out. And yet, there is that trust that the goodness of God is at the heart of his commands for us.
In the Psalm we even hear that “Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.” The emphasis of these first two readings upon the goodness of the Lord that is bestowed on those who follow is a central theme throughout the Bible. It seems to call out to all of us who hear the Word of God to have total faith in God and the path He lays out in front of us. This seems reminiscent of our readings Wednesday, especially the Gospel and in its own way has been a secondary theme for our week.
However this idea of faith in God’s plans and commands has always been pointing to a more central theme of repentance. As said already it can be hard to follow God’s plan fully and we do fall short of it on many occasions. But when we do fall short of the mark, it is this recognition that God’s teachings are for our good that helps us to repent. It should be this desire to live the life God wants for us that brings us to moments of reconciliation with others and with God. And so let us be challenged by this call based in God’s love for us. Let us trust in His providence and desire for our good. Let us follow His will in all things. And in the moments that we fall short, let us remember the words of Isaiah, reconcile ourselves to the Lord, and follow the way we should go.
Let us pray,
Heavenly Father, we entrust our lives to your will. May we recognize your calling in our lives and courageously respond in a manner that follows the path you have laid in front of us. Help us to know in our hearts that you desire our good and may that knowledge lead us ever closer to you.
This reflection was written by Kevin Effron
Kevin Effron is a first year Master of Divinity student at the University of Notre Dame. He is working at Verso Ministries this year as his ministry placement for his M.Div. and is the proud creator and organizer of Prepare the Way. Kevin hopes that you find this retreat as spiritually fruitful to meditate upon as he did while helping to put it all together.