God is an amazing God – so much beyond what we think of him.
Beyond our frontiers, our perimeters, our borders…
Beyond our theories, our ideologies, our theologies…
Beyond our definitions, our explanations, our anticipations!
We constantly need to remind ourselves of this.
Today’s 1st reading – the text of Isaiah – helps us be more aware of this (Isaiah 45:1,4-6).
The prophet expresses God’s message to King Cyrus in these words:
“This is what the Lord says to his anointed,
to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of
to subdue nations before him…
I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor,
though you do not acknowledge me…
I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me.”
God has chosen Cyrus, a Persian King, to deliver the Jewish people from their captivity in Babylon.
This famous king does not know Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, yet God has chosen him as “his anointed”.
God does not reproach Cyrus for not recognizing him, on the contrary.
God chooses him as his instrument to carry out the liberation of his people.
He assures him that he will give him the strength required to accomplish this special mission.
King Cyrus was a great king and a powerful ruler.
He had conquered lands and obtained victory over nations, but he was a humane leader.
He showed compassion to the Jews and allowed them to return to their country and rebuild the Temple.
It is to such a man that God confides the responsibility of restoring the heritage of his people.
God’s choice does not always follow our human criteria.
God’s call of people is not always according to what we would see fitting.
God sees the heart, the secret intentions and motivations, and he welcomes anyone, everyone…
Everyone ready to follow the guidance of his Spirit…
Cyrus did exactly that!
Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French, at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/
Source: Image: Wikipedia