Word for Word 9/1/21

Fr. John Moser
Fr. John Moser

“Be strong, fear not!”

This is a critical line in a scripture passage from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: “[Thus says the Lord] Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.” Isaiah 35:4-6a

I want to share with you some thoughts on these words from God through Isaiah. 1) This scripture passage presents a different view of the world – the blind see, the deaf hear, the mute speak, and waters spring up in the desert … In the Kingdom of God there is freedom from fear, healing from division. I think everyone prays for this in their life. With the Lord the broken find healing and wellness; furthermore, God’s people shall be brought from brokenness to wholeness.

2) The Lord is our divine physician and healer (encountered in the person of Jesus) who wants us to hear, “Fear not.” Even though our world is facing wars, social injustices, pandemics, pollution, the takeover of countries by extremists or terrorists, prejudice, chaos, etc. - we must realize that hope will not be derived from human activity, but from God alone. To all the current prophets of doom we should counter with Isiah’s words of hope, consolation, and faith: “Be strong, fear not!” “Here is your God!” Isaiah’s news of God’s everlasting love provides to us a glimmer of light and hope in the midst of darkness.

3) Whenever you feel frightened, remember that the God who loves you is with you. Deus providebit [God will provide]. I remind myself daily that God has taken care of me in the past, is caring for me today, and will provide for my needs each day of my life on earth. “Be strong, fear not!”.

Fr. John Moser
St. Patrick Catholic Church Waukon
St. Mary Catholic Church Hanover and Dorchester