Isaiah 66:10-14;Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13)
Today’s first reading is filled with images of comfort, hope, and healing. The prophet tells the people that Jerusalem will be rebuilt to its former glory, and that they will find great comfort in the city’s restoration. Jerusalem will once more become a place of safety and security. People will feel God’s love so deeply there that it will be as if they were children enjoying the warmth and safety of their own homes.
Considering how much the prophet wants to reassure the people, it makes sense that he would speak about Jerusalem as a loving, nurturing mother. Could there possibly be a greater image to evoke feelings of hope, love, and security? But the prophet goes even further. Not only will the people find comfort in Jerusalem, they will find the same motherly love and comfort from Almighty God!
We are not used to thinking about God as a nurturing mother. Most of the imagery in the Bible depicts God as a strong Father or a mighty warrior or a jealous lover seeking out his unfaithful bride. But even Jesus talked about his longing to gather his people as a mother hen gathers her chicks (Matthew 23:37).
Images like this tell us that God, who is the creator of everything and who has authority over everything and who is a just and righteous judge, loves us boundlessly. They tell us that God wants to bring us home and comfort us, no matter how far we have strayed or how much we have sinned. Like a mother who never stops looking for ways to care for her children, our God is deeply committed to us.
Today’s reading tells us that it’s okay to ask God to comfort us. It’s okay every now and then to imagine ourselves climbing into God’s lap and resting peacefully. So let God comfort you like a mother today. Let the words of the prophet fill you with healing, hope, and promise.
“God, I am so amazed at your love!”~WAU