Today’s scripture readings emphasize the act of listening and hearing the word of the Lord. We are called to take ownership of our faults and confess them as a way of becoming new people. We are also mandated to “learn to do right: seek justice, defend the oppressed, and to take up the cause of the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17).
Taking ownership of our faults–confessing our shortcomings–releases us from the power of the lies and distortions we believe about God, ourselves, and others. There have been times where I sit in silence and what is most pressing are the thoughts/actions/motives of my shortcomings. They distort my focus and true intentions to be a faithful witness and loving presence.
Yet confession also involves my shortcomings with not taking up the cause of justice that reflects God’s heart. The other day, I was leaving a coffee shop and saw a family of four asking for money on the street corner. I checked my wallet and didn’t have cash (I usually don’t carry any) so I drove past the family. Then the thoughts started…and some of them were not “holy”. But what kept clamoring in my heart and mind was Jesus sayings on serving “the other” as if it was Him. I got some cash and headed back to give it to Jesus–the one who is hungry, thirsty, and naked. As St. Francis of Assisi posits, I was the one gifted to see the face of Jesus my Lord.
As the prophet Isaiah remind us today, may we hear and listen to the word of the Lord for this time and place. And as the picture, we could use “a little change”.