“The foreigners who join themselves to the LORD… loving the name of the LORD, and becoming his servants… I will bring to my holy mountain and make joyful in my house of prayer.” Is 56:6-7
Today’s readings show how the blessings originally meant for Israel, the chosen people of God, are now showered on the foreigner and the alien, because of the generosity of God and the faith shown by these outsiders. We Catholics, once foreigners and Gentiles ourselves, have become the new chosen people. The Church has been entrusted with the great gift of the New Covenant. Within her, God is present in the Eucharist; Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. She possesses the infinite treasure of God’s Word in the Scripture, and has been given the authority to forgive sin.
Our response to God’s generosity must be one of faith and gratitude, never forgetting the great mercy He has shown us. If we take God’s gifts for granted, forgetting to keep the commandments and to honor the Lord in all we do, we also could lose the graces and gifts meant for us. Do we respond with gratitude, offering God praise and worship, expressing love for Him in all we do? Do we recognize His presence with us at every Mass, spend time with Him in Adoration, meditate on His Word, ask His forgiveness for our sins, pray to Him when we rise in the morning, and remember His mercy every evening at the setting of the sun?
Every day is a new opportunity for renewing our faith, loving God and neighbor, remembering to show our gratitude for every blessing we receive, and our willingness to take up every cross, appreciating the great mercy and love God our Father has for us. Remain close to Jesus, ask every day for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and always remember to thank God for inviting us, the stranger and the alien, into His house of prayer.