Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 10:5-7.13b-16; Matthew 11:25-27)
Theodore Parker, a nineteenth century Unitarian minister, penned a hopeful phrase that Martin Luther King used in the struggle for civil rights. “The arc of the moral universe is long,” Reverend Parker wrote, “but it bends toward justice.” These words reflect the Judeo-Christian tradition that God is the Lord of history making all things good. The prophet Isaiah clings to this premise in today’s first reading.
Assyria is the mighty nation from the northeast that has destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel and now threatens the Southern. It sees itself as the greatest power on earth and subject to no one. It certainly pays no heed to the God of Israel. But Isaiah sees Assyria differently. For him the mighty nation is only a pawn in the hand of the Almighty. He predicts that Assyria will shrivel like a log in a campfire. His prophecy is realized in not too many years when Assyria is vanquished by Babylonia.
Today’s gospel indicates that the Lord of history has put His Son at its center. Jesus is the hope for justice and peace to which all peoples aspire. He is also the source of bliss with his message of love and the power of his resurrection. In deepening our relation with him through the Eucharist, we should expect to witness the victory of goodness.