Our first reading is from Isaiah, 55: 10-11, but I feel that it should start two verses before that. When we would come to this in the first semester of our seventh grade Religion class I would offer two dollars to the student who was the first to memorize it exactly. That would start all twenty-five kids mumbling the four verses. Often the first few to raise their hands to make stabs at it would miss, but we kept at it until someone had earned the two bucks. See how beginning with verses 8 and 9 fits well.
8. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.
For just as from the heavens the rain and the snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Actual Grace is the Church’s term for the word of God that goes forth from the mouth of God. St. Paul in verse 13 of Chapter Two of his Letter to the Philippians tells us, “It is God working in you both to will and to accomplish.” God inspires every one of our good ideas.
The trouble is, we often ignore the good God is prompting us to get done. Not to worry, if we don’t do that good, God will get someone else to do it. His graces are as abundant as the drops of rain falling to the earth to bring forth food.