Thus Says the Lord

By Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.

Consider Isaiah’s vision of virgin birth
And God’s suffering servant singing centuries
Before the cross ever took shape. Thus he revealed
Suffering’s power to redeem, liberate and transform
The nations into a new Chosen People, compelled
To climb, conquer and contemplate this holy mountain
Called Calvary.

Behold, Micah raises again an image of nations
Fashioning tools from beaten swords
And learning ways of peace instead of war.
He points to the least of Judah’s clans:
Lowly Bethlehem, where all would
In the Messianic age to come

Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.
Ask yourself: who among us would dare be duped by
God As Jeremiah, trying in vain to withhold
The prophetic word within his heart
Erupting forth like a reluctant firebrand?

He dared warn Jerusalem of its impending doom,
Lamenting its inevitable desolation, while
Knowing full well he jeopardized his own life.
Yet he was true to the impossible calling
That gave his miserable existence meaning.

Recall Hosea’s ruined marriage. From it,
God revealed mercy above and beyond the law
Taking back wayward Israel despite infidelity.
Listen to Amos lay the blame for its shame
Squarely on the heads of the indulgent rich
Whose bloated bellies on ivory beds
Belied indifference to an imminent fall.

Laugh, even, at Jonah, who — believing all too well
In God’s mercy — commanded to warn sinful Nineveh,
Hopped a fast boat to Spain. Hoping thus to ensure
Its well-deserved punishment, sailed he instead into a storm
Quelled only by tossing the errant prophet overboard
Where even the great fish could not long stomach
His disagreeable nature and so heaved forth grumpy Jonah
Forcing him to preach begrudgingly of God’s grace.

O precious children of the Lord,
The prophets speak no less to you today
Than they did to men and women of old.
You have but to heed their words!

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