True happiness is to rejoice in the truth, for to rejoice in the truth is to rejoice in You, O God, who are the truth... Those who think that there is another kind of happiness look for joy elsewhere, but theirs is not true joy. – St Augustine: (354 - 430: was an early Christian theologian and philosopher)
Scripture Text: (IS 49:8-15)
Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
The reading from the prophet Isaiah is that message of hope in the desert. A reminder of the covenant that was given to us though our ancestors of Salvation History. A message that calls us out of darkness and out of imprisonment. In the Scriptures these two things are not always literal. We can be in the dark about many things, especially ourselves. We can be imprisoned by our fears, addictions, or an abusive situation. Isaiah reminds us that God does not forget the sons and daughters that he has created out of love. It is this relationship that we have with God that is cause for much rejoicing. We are not forgotten! We are not alone! Isaiah reminds us that we are “comforted” and “shown mercy”. This mercy and love is beyond any that can be shown by the best of humans. It exceeds all human capabilities. It is one of those “mysteries of God” that is difficult to wrap one’s mind around. And it is good to be reminded from time to time that God is kind, merciful and loving. God wants us to be happy!