A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 45:6b-8.18.21b-25)
“Let the skies rain down. ”
I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create woe, I am the Lord, who do all these things. Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may sprout forth, and let it cause righteousness to spring up also; I the Lord have created it.” For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other. Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Saviour; there is none besides me. “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, from my mouth has gone forth in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. ’“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed, all who were incensed against him. In the Lord all the offspring of Israel shall triumph and glory.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM ( Psalm 85:9ab and10.11-12.13-14)
R/. Shower, O heavens, from above,
and let the skies rain down the just one.
I will hear what the Lord God speaks;
he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful.
His salvation is near for those who fear him,
and his glory will dwell in our land. R
Merciful love and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth,
and justice look down from heaven. R
Also the LORD will bestow his bounty,
and our earth shall yield its increase.
Justice will march before him,
and guide his steps on the way. R
ALLELUIA Isaiah 40:9-10
Alleluia. Lift up your voice with strength, O herald of good tidings; behold the Lord God comes with might.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 7:19-23)
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard. ”
At that time: John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?”’ In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offence at me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Fresh from the land of exile and slavery, where they experienced polytheism (the idea of many gods) and religious prostitution, the people of Israel needed to be reminded that they have only one God, who is able to do all things well for them, and under whom they shall experience victory and glory. That reminder is equally important for us today in the face of great confusion arising from different life challenges. No matter what, fix your gaze firmly on Jesus who gives sight to the blind, makes the lame walk, cleanses the leper, raises the dead and preaches the good news to the poor. As you place your trust and fix your gaze on him, may the good news of salvation and a breakthrough be preached in the ugly and challenging situations of your life. Amen