A word to the weary

The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Isaiah 50: 4
(New American Bible)

Mi Señor me ha dado
una lengua de discípulo,
para saber decir al abatido
una palabra de aliento.
Isaías 50, 4
(Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo)

My Lord has given me
the tongue of a disciple
so that I may know how to say to the dejected
a word of encouragement.
(My translation of Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo)

I get attached to specific translations – and not always the same one. I find that New American Bible’s translation of Isaiah 50:4 speaks to me more than other translations (in English, Spanish, and Latin), though the Spanish Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo comes closest.

God gives the Suffering Servant a well-trained tongue, the tongue of a disciple. God heals us of our faulting words, our twisted tongues, our feeble attempts to speak.


So that we can speak to the weary, the dejected, the disheartened, those crushed in spirit.

Say what?

A word of encouragement, a word that will rouse them, wake them up, shake them up, give them the courage and the conviction to live.

How many need to hear that type of word – the people in the countryside here in Honduras crushed by poverty and violence, and looked down upon by many; the people who are out of work throughout the world; those who are missing loved ones who’ve died; those who have lost a sense of direction for their lives; those who are disheartened by rigidity and lack of compassion in structures of church and state; those who lack someone who shows them that they are loved and have a dignity that no one can take from them.

That is what God offers us and what Jesus shows us in the Gospels.

It’s what we are called to do.

There is so much sense of worthlessness and of powerlessness that I see here in Honduras (and even, sad to say in the Church), that we need to be people who know how to speak words of love, of tenderness, of encouragement to rouse people to live.

We need to rouse people with the words of St. Irenaeus that “The glory of God is the human person fully alive” and rouse the poor with Archbishop Oscar Romero’s re-statement of Irenaeus: “The glory of God is the poor person full alive.”

I believe that is an essential part of what the Paschal Mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus ought to be for us –  a word that rouses us to life.

Death is not the final word.

To life!


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