Rain and snow
We think this because our lives are no longer directly connected to the land, even though we still depend on it.
In the time and place of the prophet Isaiah, not only were most people intimately connected to the land, depending on it for day-to-day survival, precipitation was especially precious in that arid climate.
The words of our Lord in today’s first reading (Isaiah 55:10-11) would thus have resonated strongly with the people.
For just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down
And do not return there till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
We may not have a farmer’s sensitivity to the need for rain, but all of us know what it is like to be spiritually dry.
Today’s first reading reminds us of the power of God’s word and God’s grace, like water for our dry and dusty souls.
Perhaps we could take this as an invitation to make a practice of sitting down quietly every day during Lent and reading prayerfully the Scriptures for that day’s Mass.
The Lord is bountiful in his goodness and wants to shower us with his grace, like rain and snow on the thirsty ground of our hearts.