Day 214: The Hidden Glory of God

Isaiah 49:1-6 These verses initiate the second portion of the “servant song” of Isaiah.  Here the servant stated that his God-given mission preceded his birth and that the Lord would use him as his special messenger. By his obedience the servant would thus glorify God. 

To bring Jacob...gathered to him: Centuries before the Birth of Christ, Isaiah prophesied that all nations would be included in the blessings of his New Covenant, which would consist in the Law of Charity accompanied by the grace to reflect the sanctity of Christ. Everyone is called to a life in Christ through the grace of the Sacraments and the desire and determination to live the Gospel message. (CCC 64, 713, 868)

Ch 49:7-13 The Lord tendered special care to the exiles who were returning to Judah, providing for their needs along the way and consoling those who had already arrived. Upon their return, the exiled people found their land in ruins and their Temple destroyed. (CCC 716)

Ch 49:14-26 In times of trial, the people of Israel often felt that God had abandoned them. Nothing could be further from the truth since, as Isaiah stated, the Lord’s love for his people is greater than even that of a nursing or expectant mother. While we call God our Father, Isaiah ascribes him the maternal qualities of affection and tenderness. Although God is a transcendent spirit without gender, he nevertheless is revealed to be a Father who, as it were, has the heart of both a father and a mother. (CCC 219, 239, 370)

Ch 50:1-11 The fourth verse includes another of the servant songs. It is a poem of three stanzas that describes the servant as embracing God’s will. This identification with God’s will would bring much suffering upon this servant. The anguish and suffering, however, would lead to the redemption of the human race.

I was not rebellious...shame and spitting: These prophetic words describe in great detail the humiliation and pain of the suffering Messiah. (CCC 134-141, 713)

Ch 50:4-7 This passage comprises the First Reading at Mass on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, the first day of Holy Week. 

Ezekiel 10:1-22 In Ezekiel’s vision of the fiery destruction of the Temple, he expressed dramatically God’s departure from the sanctuary. The cherubim are the four living creatures who, on behalf of all creatures, adore and give glory to God. 

Ch 11:1-13 The people of Jerusalem thought of themselves as invincible as long as they had the Temple and God’s presence within it; this misguided confidence led them to presume that their infidelities would go unpunished.

Twenty-five men: Those who had been particularly steeped in idolatry and sin and also sought to make a pact with Egypt against Babylon.

You have feared...upon you: The rulers, who showed no courage, leadership, or righteousness, would be singled out for harsher treatment and slain ceremoniously outside the city walls. Their scandalous example and propagation of evil provoked divine justice. (CCC 2285-2286)

Ch 11:14-25 The Jews who were left behind in Judah believed naively that they were righteous and that those in exile were sinful; this attitude gave them a sense of invincibility. This prophecy, therefore, spoke directly to those in Jerusalem. Next came a prophecy for the exiles in Babylon, assuring them that they would be regathered and resettled in the land God had given them. The fulfillment of this promise, however, required repentance from sin and a return to fidelity to God’s covenant. (CCC 1098, 1432, 1848, 1896)

Ch 11:19 This prophecy regarding a change of heart by receiving a new spirit would be fulfilled at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and other disciples gathered in the Upper Room. Ultimately, the work of conversion and the renewal of hearts is an act of the Holy Spirit in cooperation with a response inspired by a desire for repentance and interior reform. (CCC 711, 715, 1433, 1989, 2027-2028)

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

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you. Thank you so much. Gosh, Lord. Thank you so much for prophesying not only the redemption of Israel, but the coming of Jesus Christ, your Servant, your Son, our Savior. We thank you so much, Lord God. We cannot even begin to praise your name for the faithfulness of the Jewish people, your Covenant people. Praise your name for the faithfulness of those first Christians, who were called by your Son, called by name. We thank you for the Christians throughout history who have been faithful and have endured storms and have endured trials and have passed on the faith down to us at this moment where we can read and we can listen to your Word. We thank you so much for all those who have gone before us. Thank you for our Jewish brothers and sisters. Thank you for our Christian brothers and sisters who have gone before us. We ask that you bring all people, all people, especially those who do not know you, those who do not know your Son, Jesus into full Covenant with you, God. Because you are the one who has been promised, and you are the one who has fulfilled that promise. Help us. Please help us all to hear your voice and to be drawn closer and closer to your heart. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.”