Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 10:5-7.13b-16; Mathew 11:25-27)
Assyria was a mighty empire extending through most of the Middle East including Egypt. It easily conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the eighth century before Christ. Although it considered itself the “cradle of civilization,” its army as much as its cultural institutions brought it notoriety. In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah denounces Assyria’s warrior ways.
Isaiah states that God had used Assyria to punish the wayward kingdoms like Israel. But Assyria went beyond its mandate. It sought to wipe away other nations when it arrogantly attributed a godlike power to itself. For this reason Isaiah predicts the fall of Assyria which came about in the late seventh century B.C.
We should allow the fate of Assyria to serve as a lesson for us. For whatever gifts we have, we need to be grateful to God. We have to ask ourselves how we might employ those gifts for God’s sake.