Thus says the Lord God: I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms. They shall never again defile themselves with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. I will save them from all the apostasies into which they have fallen, and will cleanse them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, in which your ancestors lived; they and their children and their children’s children shall live there forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations shall know that I the Lord sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is among them forevermore.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s first reading discusses the unification of the Israelites in the Promised Land, by the divine power of God. God will “deliver them from all their sins of apostasy, and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God.” Though the Israelites sin, God still calls them as his chosen people to live with him in paradise.
Likewise, God unifies us in spite of our sin. We are given the opportunity to turn away from our wrongdoings and follow him. God does not call only the perfect or the most holy among us—he calls all his people. This is especially important to remember at a time when many are treated as subordinates, as if they are unworthy of God’s kingdom. No person can sin so much as to become unworthy of God’s love.
Let us pray that we might feel worthy of this miraculous gift that God has given us, and that we might recognize God’s love and presence in all people throughout the world.
– Joseph Reznikov is a member of the Senior Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High.
Help us to recognize your presence in our lives. When we slip and forget that you are there, gently help us call to mind your saving power, love, and forgiveness. Help us to know that even when we seem most alone, you are there, you have a plan for us, and it is good.
– Joseph Reznikov
Please share the Good Word with your friends!