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…”
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?
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
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
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…”
“...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!!
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!
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