Do you ever feel as though you confess the same sins over and over again? The most humbling moments of my spiritual journey are those when I realize that yes, in fact, I am broken and in need of soul healing, and the brokenness is lingering and the healing is with time.
Today the Prophet Isaiah describes vividly what that brokenness looks like. Our sins soak into us like dye to fabric, blood into snow white wool. Our brokenness is inexorable from our souls under our own power. We raise our hands and God sees the pride in our offering, blinded as we are by our sin. This theme arises again in the Gospel, where Jesus rakes the Pharisees over the coals. God gives us the example of tender compassion with those who are powerless and vulnerable, and righteous anger at those in power—broken people who put themselves in the place of God’s judgment. Sometimes, however we behave in the opposite way, trying to please those in power and trampling on the weak and powerless. Yes, our brokenness runs soul-deep.
Yet when you take the words of Isaiah and read them in light of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, a path to wholeness emerges. God gives the gift of His Spirit to help us root out the seeds of brokenness and sin and we do this not by being the holiest mom on the block, not by putting on a show. We do this when we embrace an authentic spirituality that is honest, humble, and listens more than talks. In the words of the Prophet, we make justice our aim when we do this: we lift the burdens of others rather than laying new ones. We practice more than we preach, and it gives others permission to do the same. We know that when we work together honestly, we cooperate with God to build a world where it is easier for everyone, even for us, to be good.
Sarah Babbs is a writer and mother of three, including twin toddlers. She writes about faith, social teaching, and navigating life as a motherless daughter and mother. You can find out more about her here.