Day 219: Separation from God

Isaiah 59:1-21 Due to the rampant sinfulness of the people, the promised salvation would be long in coming. God reaffirmed his covenant and his imminent judgment.


The Lord’s hand is not shortened: Being All-powerful, the wait for salvation does not indicate any limitation of God. (CCC 311)


Ch 59:17 The military image is appropriate as a model of the struggle against sin and evil. Authors of other books of Scripture and the Church Fathers have used similar language to express the nature and difficulty of this battle against the forces of evil. (CCC 405, 921, 1496, 2015, 2752)


Ch 60:1-22 This poetic hymn of praise extols the beauty of the restored city of Jerusalem. It radiated an overwhelming beauty that reflected the glory of God, which drew people from all nations as promised. Some nations that once were accomplices in the destruction of Jerusalem brought precious stones and raw materials to help build up the city further. The Book of Revelation describes the heavenly Jerusalem in similar terms (cf. 21:9-27).


Your sons...your daughters: AMong the people coming to Jerusalem are many of the people of Judah who had been dispersed all around the world. Yet, all who come are of one family, springing from the first parents of the human race, Adam and Eve.


Ch 60:1-6 This passage constitutes the First Reading at Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. The people from afar who brought gifts to the new city are a type of the Magi (TYPOLOGY!!), the wise men or astrologers from the East, who traveled to bring gifts to the infant Christ after his Birth.


Ezekiel 19:1-14 In this allegory, Jerusalem is the lion, and her cubs are King Jehoahaz, who was deported to Egypt as a prisoner, and King Jehoiachin, who was exiled to Babylon. The vine was once fruitful but is now dried and withered on account of the exile.

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


  • We only have five days left in Isaiah!

  • It’s been an incredible journey through The Book of Woe and The Book of Consolation


  • Proverbs Ch 13

  • Every time we come back to the Book of Proverbs, there are little javelins, arrows, spears of TRUTH

  • If we MEDITATE on them and PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE…

  • They will make a HUGE difference in our lives

  • For example in Proverbs 13:11, “Wealth hastily gotten will dwindle, but he who gathers little by little will increase it.”

  • It makes me think of lottery winners or someone who gets a big windfall of cash and doesn’t know what to do with it because they never had it before

  • SO WEALTH HASTILY GOTTEN WILL DWINDLE

  • I won big

  • I scored big

  • Versus little by little

  • Someone who gathers LITTLE BY LITTLE will increase it

  • Because you learned how to live with little

  • As opposed to someone who thinks they have this abundance but never had to live with abundance

  • They never learned how to manage their resources because they didn’t have any resources before

  • AND YET…

  • If we gather LITTLE BY LITTLE, we learn LITTLE BY LITTLE how to INCREASE IT

  • The same thing is true with MATERIAL GOODS

  • The same thing is true with WISDOM

  • The same thing in some ways is true with FAITH

  • We continue to walk in FAITH

  • We continue to INCREASE OUR FAITH day by day

  • Then we have the kind of faith that can live regardless of what the day is like, regardless of the season

  • That is something worth meditating on

  • That is something worth basing the actions of our life on

  • Fr. Mike said a while ago that the Prophets are going to be rough

  • Maybe they have been rough for you and that’s completely understandable

  • At the same time, this has been an INCREDIBLE JOURNEY

  • There are only six more chapters in Isaiah

  • BUT…

  • It’s been remarkable to be able to follow along with the Prophets

  • To be able to see the context of Isaiah

  • He is preaching to a people that WILL be sent into EXILE

  • They WILL be conquered

  • It will SEEM like God can’t do anything

  • BUT…

  • God is going to do A LOT

  • God is going to REDEEM THEM

  • God is going to BRING THEM BACK

  • BUT…

  • They DO have to REPENT

  • Isaiah 59:1, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear…”

  • That is one of the claims that we try to lay against God

  • We think that maybe God CAN’T do this

  • We think that maybe God ISN’T LISTENING

  • The lack is NOT in God

  • Isaiah 59:2, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

  • THIS IS REMARKABLE!

  • Not only for our own day and age

  • But also he goes on to list the iniquities/sins of the people that are separating them from the Lord

  • Isaiah 59:3, “For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongues mutter wickedness…”

  • No one calls for justice

  • They KNEW what was FAIR AND GOOD

  • BUT…

  • They simply just let it be

  • They relied on EMPTY WORDS

  • Isaiah 59:6-8, “Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they know not, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked, no one who goes in them knows peace.”

  • It’s one of those moments where we say, “Yeah, we know the story of the People of Israel, God’s Chosen People who he still loves, he still claims, who TURNED AWAY FROM HIM.”

  • What happens is the results NOT God’s lacking in POWER

  • NOT God’s lacking in LOVE

  • Isaiah 59:10, “We grope for the wall like the blind, we grope like those who have no eyes…”

  • Because the Lord has taken away the light

  • AND YET…

  • That light WILL shine

  • This is all about REPENTANCE

  • If you turn back to the Lord, here is the REDEMPTION that is going to happen

  • IN FACT…

  • You are so blind right now, you can’t see where to go

  • Isaiah 60:1-3, “Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth (YUP)...but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall walk by your light…”

  • Whose light?

  • The light of the Jewish people

  • Fulfilling the PROMISES

  • Fulfilling the COVENANT

  • Fulfilling the covenant in JESUS

  • This is what Jesus extends

  • Doesn’t Jesus make it VERY CLEAR that his disciples HAVE TO LIVE LIKE SALT AND LIGHT?

  • Jesus makes it VERY CLEAR that his disciples HAVE TO BE A LIGHT IN THE WORLD?

  • And here is Isaiah prophesying that this is what is going to happen

  • When you walk in Christ, you are not only walking in the light

  • BUT…

  • YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE LIGHT!!

  • YOU ARE BRINGING LIGHT TO THE WORLD!!

  • That’s why we can’t put our light under bushel baskets

  • People NEED to see what God has done in your life

  • People NEED to see what God has done in the lives of those who follow him

  • So they can see it and say, “Wait, that could happen in MY life! That could be ME right there!”

  • So we are thankful for Isaiah Chs 59 and 60 because it talks about that NEED FOR REPENTANCE

  • And when we DO REPENT we can have the LIGHT OF THE WORLD

  • GOD IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD AND WE CAN HAVE THAT LIGHT IN US FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD

  • On to Ezekiel Ch 19

  • The Lamentation of Israel

  • It’s a short chapter

  • It talks about the lions and the vine

  • Let’s get some CONTEXT

  • Ezekiel 19:1, “...What a lioness was your mother among lions! She lurked in the midst of young lions, rearing her whelps. And she brought up one of her whelps…”

  • So who is this lion?

  • Was it a real person?

  • Was it not a real person?

  • The answer is that the mother is THE TRIBE OF JUDAH or JERUSALEM

  • The line of Judah was VERY IMPORTANT

  • The FIRST LION WHELP that the mother lion brought up would likely be King Jehoahaz

  • Remember, Jehoahaz was the son of King Josiah

  • He only reigned a few months and he was not a good king and he was BRUTAL and EVIL

  • He was removed and brought in chains to the land of Egypt in about 609 BC after only being king for THREE MONTHS

  • Now the SECOND LION WHELP who comes up is King Jehoiachin

  • Ok so there was a King Jehoiachim with an M at the end and there was a King Jehoiachin with an N at the end

  • Jehoiachin (N at the end) was the son of Jehoiachim (M at the end) to alleviate my confusion and probably yours...😉

  • King Jehoiachin reigned from 609-597 BC

  • He also was not great

  • Ezekiel 19:6, “...he became a young lion and he learned to catch prey; he devoured men.”

  • He continued to spread misery around

  • So what happened?

  • He was caught by the King of Babylon and he was taken away in chains

  • Jehoahaz is the FIRST LION WHELP BROUGHT UP

  • Jehoiachin is the SECOND LION WHELP BROUGHT UP

  • This is a LAMENTATION because IT DID NOT HAVE TO HAPPEN THIS WAY

  • The lamentation of the VINE could be talking about King Zedekiah

  • This vine gets planted by King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon

  • BUT...

  • Zedekiah gets made into a VASSAL KING (What is a VASSAL KING? Well, a VASSAL KING was a king who owed allegiance to ANOTHER KING OR EMPEROR 🤓)

  • AND YET…

  • Ezekiel 19:13-14, “Now it is transplanted in the wilderness...consumed its branches and fruit, so that there remains in it no strong stem, no scepter for a ruler.”

  • She is not suited to rule

  • Zedekiah was the LAST of the kings of the LINE OF DAVID…

  • UNTIL…

  • JESUS CHRIST establishes his reign as the PROMISED MESSIAH, THE PROMISED KING

  • (If all this is confusing you, read the Didache Notes at the beginning of today’s notes for Ezekiel 19:1-14 above for a simpler explanation 😁)

  • The line of the LION OF JUDAH keeps going on UNDERGROUND

  • From Zedekiah until Jesus, the royal line of David goes UNDERGROUND

  • This is why Ezekiel offers this LAMENT

  • He knows the PROMISES made to David

  • His dynasty WOULD NOT END

  • There would be a descendant of him SET UPON THE THRONE

  • And Zedekiah is the LAST ONE IN THIS MOMENT IN TIME

  • At this point, we don’t know how is God going to REDEEM this?

  • How is God going to FIX this?

  • So imagine if you will, for hundreds and hundreds of years, the people of Israel are wondering this question

  • The line of Judah (or did he say LION? Fr. Mike speaks so incredibly fast EVEN AT 0.5x speed so I’m just going to go with LINE OF JUDAH 🤔) is STILL THERE

  • BUT…

  • The line of kings has gone UNDERGROUND

  • And they wondered, what is God going to do now?

  • THIS IS US SO OFTEN

  • WALKING IN THE WILDERNESS

  • WAKING IN UNCERTAINTY

  • WALKING IN DARKNESS

  • Just like Isaiah says in Ch 59

  • AND YET…

  • We walk in DARKNESS and we HOLD ONTO OUR FATHER’S HAND

  • HE WILL LEAD US TO THAT PLACE OF LIGHT

  • WE HAVE JESUS WHO IS OUR LIGHT

  • HE BRINGS US TO THE WORLD

  • AND WE BRING THAT LIGHT TO THE WORLD

  • IS FR. MIKE MIXING METAPHORS??

  • HE DOESN’T KNOW

  • I DON’T KNOW EITHER, I’M SO EXHAUSTED

  • BUT IT MAKES SENSE TO FR. MIKE SO I’M NOT GOING TO THINK TOO HARD ABOUT IT

  • WHAT A GREAT GIFT TO BE TOGETHER FOR THE LAST 219 DAYS IN THIS FAMILY!!

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you so much for your Word. And we thank you for giving us your Presence and your Wisdom. Help us to receive your Wisdom and not to just let it pass us by, but to live it. To base our lives upon you and upon the truth that you impart and the Wisdom that you share with us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”