Day 194: Holy is the Lord

Isaiah 5:1-7 The Church is often compared to a cultivated field, a vineyard, or fertile ground cultivated by God himself. In the Gospels, Christ spoke about the Kingdom of God often using agricultural imagery. One enduring image from the Gospels is that of the vine and its branches: Christ is the vine, and the members of his Mystical Body are the branches who receive life and nourishment from him. (CCC 755)


Ch 5:8-30 This poem of lamentation condemns six different sins that seemed to have been rampant in Judah: greed, lust, skepticism of authentic prophecy, denial of objective morality, vanity, and drunkenness. In addition to personal punishment for these sins, the entire population of Judah would undergo purification.


Justice: In Church teaching, justice is defined as “the firm and constant will to give God and their neighbor their due” (CCC 1836).


Ch 6:1-13 These verses narrate Isaiah’s divine calling, which came in the form of a vision of God seated on a throne surrounded by angelic beings who proclaimed the glory of God. In the presence of God’s perfection, Isaiah was aware of his unworthiness and sinfulness. At that time it was believed that one who looked upon the face of God would die, yet the prophets were often privileged with certain visions of God from which they drew strength and light for the mission that God assigned them. (CCC 208, 332, 712, 1137-1138, 2584)


Ch 6:3 Holy, holy, holy...glory: This verse comprises part of the familiar Sanctus, which is prayed at Mass at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer. God’s absolute holiness is expressed with the triple use of the word “holy,” which refers also to the Trinity of Divine Persons. (CCC 2809)

Tobit 5:1-21 God extends his protection and guidance through his angels. In this instance, Raphael appeared in the form of a young man to guide Tobias on his journey. God did not impose the angel upon Tobit but rather allowed him to make the decision to hire the young man himself. God makes use of collaborators who assist in accomplishing his plan. Guardian angels are assigned to guide and protect us throughout our lives. Ironically, Tobit prayed that an angel would go with Tobias, not realizing that his prayer had already been answered. He and his wife showed exemplary trust in God’s protection over their son. (CCC 306, 336)


Ch 6:1-8 God’s providence was shown at every stage of the journey. The angel alerted Tobias about the fish, which provided not only a meal for the travelers but also the organs that would be used later in healing Sarah.


Ch 6:9-17 Under the Mosaic Law, a woman who inherited her father’s land (for lack of a male heir) was encouraged to marry within her own tribe so that the property also remained with the tribe. As her nearest male relative, Tobias was the one who ought to have married Sarah. Naturally, he feared that he might meet the same fate as her previous seven husbands and did not want to cause grief to his parents. The angel, however, encouraged him to wed Sarah, assuring him that “she was destined for you from eternity” and providing him a way to expel the demon that plagued her.


Proverbs 10:1-13 These thirteen verses comprise the first of two sections of collected proverbs traditionally attributed to Solomon, the third King of Israel. The first two sets of proverbs concern advice on bringing virtuous conduct into ordinary experiences.


Ch 10:4 Work is honorable since it brings support and livelihood both to oneself and one’s family. Laziness, on the other hand, can result in poverty. Work is a means of personal fulfillment, material support, and sanctification. It should never become an absolute or an end in itself, i.e., a form of idolatry. (CCC 2426-2436)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • The central movement of the Book of Tobit surrounds Tobit’s son Tobias, sent by his father to Rages, a small town in Media, to recover some family treasure.

  • For this journey he is joined by the archangel Raphael disguised as a man, Azarias.

  • When they stop along the way in a town called Ecbatana, Raphael instructs Tobias to marry the daughter of his father’s cousin Raguel.

  • This beautiful young woman, Sarah, had long been plagued by a demon, which Tobias exorcises by following Raphael’s instructions.

(Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)


  • Isaiah Chs 5 and 6 are REMARKABLE for many reasons

  • In Isaiah Ch 5 we have a POEM as a literary MASTERPIECE that Jesus will use as another one of his PARABLES

  • In Isaiah Ch 6 we have the CALL AND ABILITY of Isaiah to be the PROPHET he was supposed to be, to speak to the Jewish People


  • Here we go!

  • Gosh you guys, we have Isaiah Chs 5 and 6 which are INCREDIBLE

  • Isaiah Ch 5 we have The Parable of the Vineyard

  • Isaiah 5:1, “Let me sing for my beloved…”

  • What happens?

  • God built a VINEYARD

  • God called the People of Israel

  • God brought them out of slavery in Egypt

  • God brought them to the Promised Land

  • God made them fruitful

  • Honestly, God cleared the way in front of them as they came into the Promised Land

  • Remember The Book of Joshua?

  • Remember how Joshua led the people in battle?

  • Remember what happened in Jericho?

  • This is one example of when God was with them, and they were faithful to God, He cleared the way ahead of them!

  • God destined them to be FRUITFUL

  • God destined their lives to have not just toil and labor, but to have INCREDIBLE FRUIT

  • But then here is God in Isaiah 5:2, “...he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded WILD GRAPES.”

  • This is the end result, right?

  • Here are the People of Israel and now in the Southern Kingdom of Judah

  • The People of God who did not bring forth the fruit that God had called them apart for

  • Do you remember the THREE PROMISES TO ABRAHAM?

  • LAND

  • DYNASTY

  • WORLDWIDE BLESSING

  • They are not bearing the fruit that they NEED to

  • So here is what God is going to do

  • Isaiah 5:5, “And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.”

  • God is even going to allow people to come in and take them to ANOTHER LAND

  • God even says later on in Isaiah 6:13, “And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains standing when it is felled.”

  • God leaves a tenth of the people

  • Isaiah is prophesying is that what is going to happen to the SOUTHERN KINGDOM is that they will be taken into EXILE and only a TENTH of the people will be left in Jerusalem and Judea

  • The REST will be taken into Babylon

  • Now go back to the beginning of Isaiah 6, “In the year that King Uzziah…”

  • This is really great because we have clear and accurate timing. We know when Uzziah died and what happened in that moment?

  • Isaiah is getting a COMMISSION to be a prophet in a unique way, where he has seen the GLORY OF THE LORD

  • This is REMARKABLE

  • Isaiah sees the SERAPHIM

  • How many does he see?

  • WE DO NOT KNOW!

  • It mixes back and and forth with singular and plural at the same time

  • Isaiah 6:2, “Above him stood the Seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.”

  • Isaiah 6:6, “Then flew one of the seraphim to me…”

  • So there are MULTIPLE

  • Each of the seraphim has 6 wings

  • WHY?

  • 1 pair of wings covers the feet

  • 1 pair covers the eyes

  • 1 pair holds them aloft

  • GOSH YOU GUYS!

  • The symbolism of this is REMARKABLE

  • Why are their feet covered?

  • BECAUSE THEY ARE IN A HOLY PLACE!

  • The feet of the angels of God are NOT WORTHY to stand upon, to be exposed to the Lord God

  • Why do the wings cover their eyes?

  • Because here is the Lord God who is SO HOLY that NOT EVEN THE ANGELS OF GOD CAN LOOK UPON HIM AND SURVIVE!!

  • The seraphim cry out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

  • If you are Catholic, you know these words

  • This is the SANCTUS and we PRAY these words on a regular basis when we are about to enter THE HOLIEST MOMENT OF THE MASS, when the BREAD AND WINE become the BODY AND BLOOD of JESUS

  • We are brought into the PRESENCE OF JESUS

  • THINK ABOUT THIS BECAUSE THIS IS INCREDIBLE

  • When Isaiah experiences this he says, “Woe is me! For I am lost…”

  • This is the experience of actually coming into contact with the TRUE AND LIVING GOD

  • It’s not just, “Hey neat! Yeah I belong here!”

  • It’s WOE IS ME

  • Because how many of us have REALLY encountered the REALITY OF GOD

  • Where we get to the place where we SEE THE TRUTH

  • Here is GOD HIMSELF

  • WHO IS SO GOOD

  • WHO IS SO BEAUTIFUL

  • WHO IS LOVE ITSELF

  • WHO IS HOLY

  • And in stark contrast, we see the truth about OURSELVES

  • We are MADE to be good

  • We are MADE to be beautiful

  • We are MADE to be wise

  • We are MADE to be holy

  • BUT WE FALL SHORT ALL THE TIME

  • Remember when Jesus got into Simon Peter’s boat and they had this big catch of fish?

  • Peter says, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man…”

  • Jesus lifts him up and says, “From now on you will be catching men…”

  • We realize our LACK

  • We realize our NEED

  • We realize God’s GOODNESS

  • AND YET…

  • GOD DOES NOT RUN AWAY FROM US

  • GOD CALLS US NEAR TO HIMSELF

  • This is what happens to Isaiah

  • Isaiah sees this REALITY of God’s PRESENCE

  • Isaiah sees this REALITY of God’s GOODNESS

  • Isaiah sees this REALITY of God’s HOLINESS

  • “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…”

  • AND YET…

  • “...for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

  • This is God’s CALL TO ISAIAH

  • Isaiah realizes that he is going to preach to a bunch of people who are a MESS

  • I AM A MESS

  • Let’s go back to the moment of the MASS (not the MESS)

  • We say, “Holy, holy, holy…”

  • At that moment, if you are not Catholic, what we do in the Catholic Mass is we FALL TO OUR KNEES in that moment

  • So what happens to Isaiah?

  • An angel takes some tongs and he goes over to the altar, he picks up a coal with those tongs, then touches that coal to Isaiah’s mouth

  • The angel says, “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.”

  • THIS IS THE CRAZY THING

  • In the early church, the first couple of centuries of Christianity, the Early Church Fathers saw this as a TYPE, a FORESHADOWING, of what happens in the MASS

  • We say, “Holy, holy holy…” and we fall to our knees and then what happens is the “burning coal” of the EUCHARIST, the FLAME OF GOD’S VERY PRESENCE is taken from the altar and PLACED ON OUR LIPS, IN OUR MOUTH!!

  • TYPOLOGY!!

  • We experience this TRANSFORMATION by the very fact that we get to come into CONTACT, INTO CONTACT, with the LORD GOD HIMSELF

  • THIS IS INCREDIBLE!!

  • Then God asks the question, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”

  • Isaiah says, “Here I am! Send me.”

  • And God tells him to go to the people and tell them these things etc.

  • So what happens at the END OF THE MASS?

  • At the end of EVERY MASS, the priest says, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.”

  • Yes, you have come into God’s presence

  • “Holy, holy, holy…”

  • You have fallen to your knees

  • That “burning coal” of the Eucharist has touched your mouth and FILLED YOU and TRANSFORMED YOU

  • NOW GO AND DECLARE JESUS TO THE NATIONS!!!

  • This BLOWS MY MIND!

  • IT’S AMAZING!!

  • IT’S INCREDIBLE!!

  • Next time you go to Mass, realize this REALITY

  • For Isaiah, it was a TYPE, it was REAL, but it was a TYPE

  • For ALL OF US, the Eucharist is the FULFILLMENT of that TYPE

  • WHAT A GIFT!!

  • To not only hear God’s word PROCLAIMED and DECLARED like this

  • But also to be able to participate in a unique way EVERY TIME WE GO TO MASS

  • Hopefully the Book of Tobit made sense yesterday with the DEUTEROCANONICALS

  • So incredible that we have the archangel Raphael who is leading Tobias to find his wife, Sarah

  • These worlds are COLLIDING

  • Tobit had been praying for death

  • Sarah had been praying for death

  • Now through the Lord’s action, God is bringing their stories together

  • We will find out what happens to them tomorrow

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thanks. We thank you so much. Thank you so much for your holiness. Thank you for your transcendence. Thank you for your omnipotence. Thank you for the fact that you are sovereign, Lord God. You are sovereign over all. And you are awe-inspiring. You are awesome and awful in the best possible way, Lord God. You inspire us and we are full of awe in your presence and in the presence of your Word, Lord God, as you continue to speak to us these days. We ask that you please open our eyes that we may see and return to you. Open our ears that we may hear and return to you. Open our hearts that we can understand, our minds we can understand and come back to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”