Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away! The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
But I said, “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.”
And now the Lord says, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God has become my strength— he says, “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
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.
“But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my cause is with the Lord, and my reward with my God.”
How often do we feel abandoned, or that our suffering is just too much? If we truly take to heart the words of Isaiah, that “The Lord called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me”, then it seems that even if I might feel like I’ve been abandoned, and my suffering is too great, that the God who knew me before I was born, who also sent his only Son to save the world, will truly be there for me when I am in need.
Jesus continued to trust the will of the Father even in the face of abandonment and betrayal. May we trust in the saving power of Jesus as we continue our journey towards Easter.
Good and gracious God, you have known us since before we were born, and you continue to offer us unconditional love. In the midst of trials or sufferings, remind us to turn to you, who are with us through it all. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team