Today’s Scripture readings have some “sound bytes” that I have found most meaningful in my prayer life. Isaiah’s profession of faith today says, “For it is you who have accomplished all we have done.” What a beautiful thing for us to remember. This one statement, if we integrate it into our prayer life, will keep us from both false humility and excessive pride. Because we have no right, when we are called by God to do something, to say, “Oh no, I could never do that.” That might be absolutely correct, but it’s still completely meaningless. If God calls us, he will make miracles happen from our willingness to follow. For it is he who has accomplished all we have done.
And we have no right to be puffed up and call attention to ourselves, and say, “Now look how wonderful I am.” Because the really good things that we do we could never possibly do on our own: whether that’s becoming a priest and preaching the Word, or becoming a parent and raising children, or whatever our vocation consists of. That we are willing is cause enough for celebration, but let’s not forget to celebrate the miracle that happens when God does what he needs to do in us. For it is he who has accomplished all we have done.
And the three verses in our Gospel reading are verses that have long stuck with me. I have an old Bible in my office that my aunt gave me when I was probably in high school, so like a million years ago! That Bible has these verses outlined in ink because I went back to them so often. We all go through trials sometimes, but we can never give ourselves to despair because our Lord is so willing to help us shoulder the burden, and longs to give us the rest we all need to recuperate from the world’s trials. All we need to do is to come to him for that rest, and to be willing to take up the burdens he offers us, knowing that we will never shoulder them alone. For it is he who has accomplished all we have done.