Tuesday of week 1 of Lent – First Reading


Commentary on Isa 55:10-11

This short reading comes from the last chapter of the second part of Isaiah, known as Second Isaiah (chaps. 40-55). It is also known as the ‘Book of Consolation’ because it speaks with hope and encouragement of the approaching end of the Jewish exile in Babylon, in contrast to earlier prophecies which rather emphasised the punishments which Israel had merited by her infidelities.

We are reminded that God has his plans for the world and they will not be frustrated. Those plans are not arbitrary. They are for the wellbeing of all creation. He is the loving Father to whom we pray with confidence, described in the Gospel reading about the Lord’s Prayer.

The prophet expresses these ideas in language that is truly poetic. The inevitability of God’s Word being realised is like that of the gentle rain that makes the earth fertile and fruitful and so produces the seed that provides the bread on which we live. “So it is with the word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure.”

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