The first reading today is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and is one of my favorite passages:
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 the one who sows and bread to the one 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. (Is 55:10-11)
The Word came to Isaiah and he repeated and promoted the Word to the people of his time – as did all the prophets. Even the most recalcitrant and obstinate of all the prophets – Jonah. The Word came to him and he ran away. We know the story of how Jonah is eventually, ….shall we say persuaded? … and off he goes to the capital city Nineveh, home of the dread enemy of Israel: Assyria. In Hebrew, Jonah only speaks five words and not with much enthusiasm. At least the Word of repentance went forth from his mouth. It was enough to work with. The king and all the people repented – achieving the end for which it was sent.
Each one of us was anointed at our baptism to share in the kingly, priestly and prophetic role of Jesus. The Word comes to each one of us. Sometimes overtly, .e.g., in the readings at Mass. The Word is available to us in Sacred Scripture. Word is available in the testimony of others – in person, online, on YouTube and more.
Speak the Word into the world, even if only 5 words. Jonah’s five words were enough for the Lord to work with: 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.
Nothing can stop the Word except our silence.
Image credit: Alex de Ataide, Pexels-13021192, CC modified in CANVA