“. . . the Twelve Apostles are the most evident sign of Jesus' will regarding the existence and mission of his Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition: despite the sins of the people who make up the Church, they are inseparable. Therefore, a slogan that was popular some years back, 'Jesus yes, Church no,' is totally inconceivable with the intention of Christ. This individualistically chosen Jesus is an imaginary Jesus.” ― Pope Benedict XVI: The Apostles: The Origin of the Church and Their Co-Workers
Scripture Text: (IS 66:10-14C)
Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.
When you see this, your heart shall rejoice
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.
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. But 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.
So let God comfort you like a mother today.