Repairing Our Broken Places

Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach…(Isaiah 58:12)

When Isaiah prophesied the words in today’s scripture, everything in Israel’s life lay in tatters.  The temple was still in ruins; the walls that had protected Jerusalem were still a heap of rubble; the rhythms and rituals of their common life were still disrupted and in disarray.

In the midst of all this destruction, Isaiah called the nation and each one of its citizens to be a “repairer of the breach.”  It was a stunning prophecy, a prophecy that must have seemed ludicrous given the odds, but it was a prophecy that, in time, took hold of the hearts and imaginations of the Jews—for they did indeed, with God’s help, rebuild their temple, city, culture, and faith.

It is imperative that we look at the impact we have on others.  As we make a mature and responsible assessment of the wake of how we live and treat others, we need to assess if we spend more time scattering or gathering, tearing or mending, hurting or healing, dividing or uniting, impairing or repairing.

During the time of crisis in Israel, God through Isaiah was imploring the people to repair the breaches in their city, culture, faith, and nation.  During this time of crisis as we deal with the Coronavirus, God through His prophet is giving us the same message.  As people of God, as disciples of Jesus, as citizens of this nation, we need to hear and heed and live into Isaiah’s words, and we must commit our best efforts, deepest intentions, and most fervent prayers into repairing the breaches, the losses, and the divides all around us.

Before we can repair the breaches around us, we may need to recall the breaches that Jesus has already repaired in and for us.  For me, He has repaired my relationship with God by forgiving me; He has repaired my broken heart after it has been broken; He has repaired broken relationships and dreams and hopes.  The only way I can get out of bed, speak, write, make a difference is because Jesus has been and is repairing my broken places.  Take a good, long, and honest look at your own life, isn’t the same true for you?

Here is a spiritual truism:  Once repaired, go repair; once restored, go restore; once mended, go mend.  Living into the truth of these words will give us and others hope.  Rejecting these words leads to even more division. Although we might go about repairing the breaches in and around us differently, there’s no way around God’s call upon us to do so. If we are to be repairers during this challenging time, we must let go of any tendency to deny, defend, or blame others; instead, we must see and admit the challenges that are before us, and then we must take responsibility to act and live carefully, sensibly, wisely, patiently, and faithfully.

Reflection Questions:

  1.  What breaches has God repaired in you? What breaches is He currently repairing?
  1.  What breaches could God be calling you to repair around you?
  1.  If you spend more time scattering than gathering, tearing than mending, what would help you to repent and change? If you spend more time healing than hurting, repairing than impairing, what would help you to stay strong and resilient?

2 thoughts on “Repairing Our Broken Places

  1. Hal Gordon

    Fr. Jim — It seems as if every morning these days I read the news and throw up my hands in despair. Thanks for reminding me and all of us that there is hope and that we are all called to be repairers of the breach. God bless.

  2. This morning in SS we spoke about pentecost and how the Holy Spirit resides in each of us and how he/she speaks to us. Some said they feel the Holy Spirit nudge us. Some said they spoke words and really did not know where they came from. We should all remember that even with the Holy Spirit living in us, we have free choice. The call may come to repair, but nothing ever happens until we take ACTION to the call and begin the repair. Many times I have been nudged, but I did not move to action. I pray we always move to action after hearing our calls. Help me Holy Spirit, give me wisdom to take the correct action!

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