Wednesday of week 15 in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 10:5-7,13-16; Psalm 93(94):5-10,14-15; Matthew 11:25-27

The prophet now goes on to pronounce that Asyria would suffer and fall. God had meant for Asyria to be used as  a Rod against Israel. The Rod, or stick, is that of the shepherd, used to guide his sheep. However, Asyria had by now (720 BC)  far exceeded the guidance that God intended the nation to be used on Israel, taking over much of Israel's land and leaving only Jerusalem untouched 'like a hut in a field of cucumbers'. For exceeding their mission, the Asyrians would be felt a harsh blow - and indeed they were, being overwhelmed by Babylon in the 6th Century BC.

Asyria would experience Woe because it had become proud of its own achievements, forgetting that God had made their success against Israel possible. Hence the phrases about the axe claiming the success that is due to the woodsman, the saw thing credit fort he work of the carpenter. We in our turn may often be called upon to do God's work and it is an all to human trait to claim the fruits of our labours are due to our efforts - not to God's carefull planning.

Posted in Daily Reflection.