Yearning for the Lord
Homily for Thursday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time
My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you; when your judgment dawns upon the earth, the world’s inhabitants learn justice (Isaiah 26:9).
The oracle that we hear from the Prophet Isaiah today is a collection of various verses from chapter twenty-six of the prophet’s writings. The Lectionary for Daily Mass will frequently create this kind of reading, picking and choosing certain verses to bring some focus to a particular issue.
Verse nine speaks of keeping a vigil, waiting for the Lord, dreaming of the day that the Messiah will come. The sentiment is not unusual. Several times in the psalms and in the writings of the prophets we hear of people who seem to have been keeping a vigil, waiting for the coming of God with the dawn. This has long been a common thought in the lives of people who are seeking the Lord. They have come to the realization that the rising sun can stand as a symbol of the return of Jesus, a return for which we faithful yearn.
However, one of the other things that happens when we are given readings like this one is that we can use one or more of the verses as a mantra throughout the day. Verse nine can serve in that capacity, giving us two possible mantra-like prayers that we could use over and over again throughout our day.
My soul yearns for you (in the night).
My spirit within me keeps vigil for you.
Praying with the Scriptures in this fashion opens up the biblical verse and allows the person to delve ever deeper into the beauty and power of the words. We all wait for the day when we shall see God face to face.
Coupled with this reading from Isaiah, we hear the familiar invitation that Jesus offers all of us. The imagery used here is powerful as we are invited to share our burdens with Jesus. Farmers of that time used to join two beasts together so that they could work in tandem. It made the task easier to accomplish. At the same time, the image of a yoke is used in describing the law of the covenant. This kind of burden doubled the burden rather than reduce it.
Our souls yearn for Jesus to be one with us. We look forward to the day when we will see him face-to-face.