Where do we place our trust?
Our readings this Sunday pose that very question in a variety of ways. In Isaiah, the Israelites (a.k.a. Zion) are feeling abandonned, forgotten by God: The Lord has forsaken me; the Lord has forgotten me. We feel the pain of this sharp cry of lament, which cuts us to the quick. The word forsaken, for example, conveys a sense of complete denial of relationship, while forgotten suggests being cast out from the very mind of God. But has God really forgotten Zion? Or have the Israelites rather turned away from God, failing to ground themselves in God’s love? Yet even if the latter is so, God’s response is immediate, maternal, and reassuring: I will never forget you. God’s loving-kindness, or hesed, is infinite, and puts the people of Israel back on a path to healing… if only they, like the psalmist, can trust in the Lord: Only in God is my soul at rest… Trust in him at all times, o my people! (Psalm 61)
In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus similarly encourages us to put our trust in God first and foremost, seeking the kingdom of God with the reassurance that, should we truly make God our priority, everything else will fall into place. We can plan for the future, but we need to remember not to ground ourselves in our own control, but rather in God. If we but remember his promise — I will never forget you — love, safety, and security will follow: Your heavenly father knows that you need them all. So live in that love, trust in that love, make it the motive of your heart, as Paul tells the Corinthians, and you will feel affirmed in God’s presence and in God’s activity in your lives. Only know, believe, that he will never forget you…
This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.