God Never Forgets Us

Taken from Catholic Exchange
by Dr. Mark Giszczak

God Never Forgets Us

March 2

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 49:14-15


We like to doubt. Our first response to good news, especially great news, is often disbelief. Ancient Israel was no different. After the prophet Isaiah proclaims the coming of the servant of the Lord who will bring deliverance, joy and singing, Zion voices her doubt. This reading starts on a note of doubt: “Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me; my LORD has forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14). We look to Scripture for hope and inspiration, but this reading begins with a moment of commiseration—the doubt we feel, the struggle to believe was not absent in Israel. When we experience times of difficulty, mourning, hardship, we can listen to that doubt more closely or even give in to it.

Does God forget?

Zion’s doubt is framed in terms of forgetting. (Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, which is used in the Bible as a poetic symbol for the whole nation.) The prophet is announcing a time of restoration, but Zion’s claims that God has forgotten: He’s forgotten his people, their story, the relationship he has with them. If you think about it, remembering is how we even have a story to talk about. For God to forget would be the end of the story. Yet memory and the story it contains point to a future, either a future full of hope (which Isaiah proclaims) or to the despair of forgetfulness. God responds to Zion’s doubt by reassuring her that he does not forget.

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