On Eagles’ Wings

A reflection on Isaiah 40:25-31 by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB

In Isaiah we hear, “He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name” (Isaiah 40:26). I have a hard time with names, so if anybody can call an army, each one by name, that is a miracle. But that’s how personal God is. Nothing is by chance. We cannot fathom to what detail He takes care of our lives. Everybody has free will because God gives it, and sometimes we use it to our own detriment. But God desires to bring good out of the darkest situations.

The reading continues, “Why O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, ‘my way is hidden from the Lord’?” (Isaiah 40:27). No, it’s not. Who would believe that his way is hidden from the Lord? It astonishes me when people have the mentality that “God doesn’t know about this,” or “that won’t matter to Him,” and to make it less that it really is.  We should not minimize our actions. The Church needs our holiness. We should never say, “The Lord doesn’t mind,” because the Lord does mind, and we should mind too.  

Later on in Isaiah it says, “they who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings” (Isaiah 40:31a).  To soar as with eagles’ wings—could that not also mean to take that Word of God and let our souls soar to reach Him? Have you ever seen an eagle soar? They’re not flapping around; they’re just resting on the wind. Take His Word and rest in His Word. It has the power to heal, to restore the soul. “They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint” (Isaiah 40:31b). God’s Word gives that power.

“And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.”

John 1:14
The Christ child on display in our chapel during the Christmas season