In the ILP bilingual pew lectionary on the Spanish side of the page, the verses about suckling at the abundant breasts is selected! What? Is it too much for our? Is there a risk of perverting God’s abundance to say nothing of God’s mothering capacity and imagery? Is there a fear that it is too sexual? The gap is very unfortunate, because the inclusion of the verses, duly printed on the English side of the page, is complete and unabashed. Yet, there are probably few preachers who would risk taking up the theme of God’s abundant nurturing in such vivid imagery. That’s what prophets are for — to take these risks of language!

The overall passage from this last chapter of the prophet Isaiah is about the coming to birth of the nation/people of daughter Zion. God appears like a doula; the birth of Zion’s children is a rebuke to the nations and a display of God’s power. The overall passage is suffused with the language of joy and celebration. The remainder of the end of Isaiah is about the ingathering of the nations, as adopted children along with Isaiah will gather in one apocalyptic scene of praise of God. Isaiah’s vision stands compelling today, just as we think and pray (and act?) on the “ingathering” of the nations and tongues at our borders!

God has blessed us with abundance, and we out of gratitude must share that abundance with others. God’s plan is universal and catholic, while our human plans are division and greed and self-alleged superiority. These things will not stand in the face of God’s power and lordship over and within history.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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