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  • Writer's pictureBishop Mesrop Parsamyan

GREAT LENT - Day 19: Friday

“He will not cry or lift up his voice or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.”

(Isaiah 42:2-3)

As it is true today, it was also true in Isaiah’s day, when the reeds near the seashores broke off due to the toss of the waves, and they came to rest on the beaches. Among the thousands of those reeds, some break and become useless; they can no longer be used to make a flute or for any other purpose. And, then as now, these broken reeds are used as a tread of wax on the wick of a candle, placed in oil to light a lampstand. That wick burns with radiant light until the oil finishes. After that, the light dims until the wick disappears as smoke into the air.

The broken reed and the wick raised in the air as smoke are beautiful symbols and vivid images. Prophet Isaiah uses these symbols and images to speak of those living through difficult and desperate times, experiencing the pressures of life. As they reach their breaking points, they feel as though they have reached a place where their lights will be extinguished. This part of the prophecy is invoked in the Gospel of Matthew when speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:20). It is God’s promise that the Anointed Savior will care for and comfort those who are unseen — those who are broken-hearted, discouraged, and exhausted.

Evil winds may sweep difficulties and misfortunes into our lives, destroying and extinguishing the light in our homes. Nevertheless, when our Savior finds us, He cares for us and restores us. He blows away the disbelief that extinguishes our wicks so that they will burn again. The world condemns and destroys the meek, but God heals and restores them.

Therefore, when we find ourselves cut into pieces like the reeds or burning out like faded wicks, let us turn to God’s Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. With His compassionate love, He will restore our lives and rekindle the fire of our dying hopes.

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