Day 216: The Suffering Servant

Isaiah 53:1-3 Christ’s preaching about the Kingdom of God drew crowds of believers yet many-including those in positions of religious authority-rejected his message. In spite of his miracles, a significant number refused to believe and accept his teaching. (CCC 591)

Ch 53:4-6 By his suffering and Death on the Cross, Christ atoned for the sins of the world. This supreme Sacrifice was the price of our redemption and the culmination of the Revelation of God’s love. Through Christ’s Redemption, everyone is invited to receive forgiveness, healing, and everlasting life. (CCC 517, 1505)

Ch 53:7-12 Like a lamb led to the slaughter, Christ endured his Passion largely in silence, obediently accepting his Father’s plan for the ransom of humanity from the bondage of sin and death. Prefigured by the Passover lamb Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Book of Revelation describes the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, which signifies Christ’s union with his Bride the Church, obtained by his redemptive Sacrifice. (CCC 601, 608, 615, 623, 627)

Ch 54:1-10 God’s eternal fidelity to his covenants prefigures Christian marriage, which by divine institution is an exclusive, permanent, and fruitful covenant between a husband and wife. (CCC 220, 1611)

Ch 54:5-14 This passage may be proclaimed as the Fourth Reading at Mass on the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night.

Ch 54:11-17 This prophecy depicts the city of Jerusalem rebuilt in magnificent splendor and decorated with fine gems. From a Christian viewpoint, this renovated city prefigures the New Jerusalem, which is the Church, destined to be perfected at the end of time. (CCC 756-757)

Ch 54:11-12 This description corresponds to the vision of Heaven described by John in Revelation (21:10-27).

Ezekiel 14:1-11 The worship of pagan idols was a sin both of the Jews who remained in Judah and those in exile. The allure of the gods so characteristic of the pagan culture prompted many Jews to reject the tenets of their covenant with God. Additionally, their intermarriage with foreigners led significantly to a general infidelity. Many tried to incorporate idol worship into the traditional worship of God, but doing so violated the basic teaching of the Mosaic Law, which prohibited the worship of idols. 

Ch 14:12-23 Noah, Daniel, and Job were known traditionally as the most righteous of Israel’s forefathers. In this prophecy the Lord railed against those who worshiped idols and yet still approached God and his prophet. These three personages mentioned all distinguished themselves by their trust in the one God: Noah built his ark amid ridicule, Daniel refused to worship false idols under the threat of death, and Job persisted in his faith in God despite his sudden and severe hardships. Their ancestral relationship with great and holy persons would not protect or exempt the people from judgment because God judges every person according to his or her own deeds. Christ addressed this question when he told the Pharisees and Sadducees, “Bear fruit that befits repentance, and do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham” (cf. Mt 3:7-12). (CCC 58)

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

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you so much. Gosh, God, thank you for this opportunity to be close to you and close to your Word. Thank you so much for your promise of a Messiah, who is willing to suffer for us and did and has suffered for us. Thank you for the deliverance of not only the people of Israel in sending your Son, our Lord, God, Jesus Christ. But also, thank you for sending him for us. Many of us, who were not your Chosen People, until you have chosen us in Jesus. And so we just give you thanks and we give you praise and we ask that you please hear our prayers and receive our thanks, receive our praise this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”