Theme: Shaking off Indifference and Cynicism
Isaiah contains some of the Bible’s most beautiful reflections on forgiveness, renewal, and salvation.
- Facing the Babylonian exile, prophecies included the promises that God was still in control and loved the Jewish people.
- They believed that the God that led them out of slavery in Egypt could also lead them out of slavery in Babylon. But as the exile continued, the people forfeited their faith in God and became overwhelmed by defeatism and cynicism.
- Isaiah’s suggestion is to instead look to the heavens and consider the Creator of the Earth. And while considering the Creator of all good things, we soon learn that we cannot fully know the wisdom and plans of God. We are also reminded of our covenantal relationship with God.
❔ Have you ever had an experience of personal exile or injustice which has impacted your perception of God?
❔ Have you ever had anyone speak difficult truths in love to shake you out of your indifference and cynicism?
❔ What kind of relationship is required for speaking such hard truths? And how do you think it was received in Israel?
In considering the reading from Mark, we might question the context of Jesus healing with similar indifference and cynicism.
- If Jesus was divine, why wasn’t everyone healed? If you’re going to heal some people, why not heal all people?
- Facing such questions, Jesus claims that his ultimate purpose was to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God. In some ways, we could consider physical healings a short term fix. While we are still left with our vulnerable human bodies, Jesus calls us to something even greater.
- Jesus’ preaching of the Good News points us to a place beyond all infirmities. Like Isaiah tells the exiled Jews, ultimately we cannot fully imagine the wisdom and plans of God. Instead Jesus asks us to trust in his promises and our covenantal relationship.
Take Away and Call to Action:
Once we’ve heard Jesus’ promise of the Good News of the Kingdom of God, we are changed forever.
Let us stay centered on our spiritual journey to find Jesus and the Kingdom in our everyday lives. Shaking off our indifference and cynicism, we are all invited to participate in a brand new adventure, both in this life and the life to come.