THE GOD WHO EMPOWERS
December 11, 2013
Today’s reading: Isaiah 40:25-31
The call to the New Evangelization is a call to be a witness–silent witness through a holy life, and vocal witness through proclamation of the gospel. Both are challenging. Both cannot be done on mere human effort or strength. But the God who calls us also empowers us.
What can we expect from God, as we respond to the call?
First is for us to know who God is. “The Lord is God from of old, creator of the ends of the earth.” (v.28b). God is the Ancient of Days. God is the eternal Creator. In Him resides all power. For Him nothing is impossible. He created everything and found it very good. But sin and corruption entered. So God restores, through Jesus and now through our work. The Creator of the ends of the earth sends us to the ends of the earth, His whole dominion.
Second, God empowers us in our weakness. “He gives power to the faint, abundant strength to the weak.” (v.29). God knows we are weak human flesh. Still, He calls, chooses, anoints and sends us forth. God knows what He is doing. He just needs willing instruments, since He will provide the empowerment. So we must not look at ourselves and see the sad reality of weak sinful humanity, that easily grows faint, but rather look to God who is all powerful. “He does not faint or grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.” (v.28c).
Third, we are to be part of God’s army in the spiritual war raging in the world today. “He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name.” (v.26b). Even now God is reading out the recruitment list, calling each one by name. Are we there standing in formation, ready to shout “Here”? Or are we preoccupied with many other things, including our own priorities, unmindful of the army being raised and the war to be fought? We are to be soldiers of Christ. We are to be part of the holy army of God, which He Himself will lead into battle. May it be said of us, “By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing!” (v.26c).
Fourth, if we put our hope and trust in our Commander-in-Chief, then we will be equipped and empowered and will do greater works. “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings” (v.31a). With faith in Jesus we will be able to do the works that he did, and even more. We will perform signs and wonders. We will soar to great heights of service, and do a massive work of worldwide evangelization. We “will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (v.31b). We will run the race and finish it. We will walk our talk. We will endure and persevere, moving forward with ever increasing fervor.
The Church has issued the call to the New Evangelization. “Do you not know? Have you not heard?” (v.28a). If you know and have heard, how have you responded? If you have responded, and as you go through the challenges of living the call, where “young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall” (v.30), keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and in faith believe that he who calls you is able to empower you to be his witness. “Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these” (v.26a).
Onward to the New Evangelization!
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God bless you all.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)