Hijacked and enslaved.
So felt the people of God in the days of the prophecy which we hear in today’s first reading (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11) and which begins with those words set so wonderfully to music as the first words of Handel’s Messiah:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people,
saith your God.
As it was then, so in many ways is it now: as war and terror and hardship threaten us and beat so many of us down.
But God’s power is greater than any threat and can heal any harm.
Can we escape suffering? It is hard to say that we can, when the way of salvation is the way of the cross, and yet our hope is unassailable and no matter what happens, God’s comfort for his faithful ones - described so beautifully in today’s Responsorial Psalm (85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14) - is certain and will be infinite.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD—for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.