Today in the first reading from Isaiah 41, we get a greater understanding of God’s hand at work in our lives. God says, “Fear not, I will help you.” The responsorial, from Psalm 145, drives this home…”The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger, and of great kindness.” And in the Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Jesus tells of the greatness of John the Baptist and that “he is Elijah, the one who is to come.” The Jews had been waiting for centuries for the return of Elijah to usher in the age of the Messiah.
“The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain…I, the Lord, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.” There were many times in the history of the children of Israel where they must have felt forsaken. Once a strong and powerful people, they had been overrun by enemies and scattered about. Tough times, indeed.
Have you ever felt that God has forsaken you? If so, it was probably when you were going through a most difficult time. It happens to all of us now and again; even to the great saints. Paradoxically, these are the times when God is closest to us. We need but seek him out and turn to him. Then we will see that his mighty hand is gently cradling us.
Father, give us the grace to turn to you in times of great distress. Help us to know that we are never forsaken. Amen.
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