Take a moment to consider this Sunday’s first reading (Isaiah 49) in its entirety:
Zion said “The LORD has forsaken me;
my LORD has forgotten me.”
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
What do you notice?
When I read this brief little reading I began to imagine what it might look like when converted to a Word Cloud. So a key part of my homily preparation was simply pasting the text of the reading into a word-cloud-maker. The result effectively and vividly communicates the central message not only of this scripture, but of all of human existence: all our problems and anxieties in life comes when we forget the Lord.
When we forget the tender love that Christ has for us, for those we love, and for every person, we lose perspective. In this forgetfulness the joy evaporates from life and everything becomes a problem.
In a few days we enter the season of Lent. The purpose of any Lenten practice of prayer and penance is to help us to habitually replace our forgetfulness with remembering the active presence of Christ with us, and the tender love of Christ for us.