18 Sunday In Ordinary Time
August 2, 2020
Our First Reading this week is taken from Isaiah 55. Often referred to as “The Prince of Prophets,” God spoke to Israel through him during a very critical and stressful period of that nation’s history. His message is arguably as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. The Catholic Bishops offer an introduction of Isaiah’s ministry with the following:
For Isaiah, the vision of God’s majesty was so overwhelming that military and political power faded into insignificance. He constantly called his people back to a reliance on God’s promises and away from vain attempts to find security in human plans and intrigues. This vision also led him to insist on the ethical behavior that was required of human beings who wished to live in the presence of such a holy God.
Isaiah was overwhelmed by the reality of God’s holiness. Moreover, he was acutely aware of the human condition such as it is…flawed and frail…leaving us unworthy to be in the presence of The Almighty. The dramatic events leading up to God sending Isaiah out to prophesy offer a powerful declaration of his sense of unworthiness, as well as his willingness to serve. Isaiah responds to God’s invitation to be a messenger with the following:
“Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember which he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with it. “See,” he said, “now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here I am,” I said, “send me!”(Isaiah 6:5)
The Eucharist…The Body and Blood of Christ…when received by the faithful with sincerity of heart…is not unlike a burning ember. When the host touches our lips, wickedness is removed and sin purged. Then, we are sent forth to share what has been given to us…THE GOOD NEWS!
And the message entrusted to us…THE GOSPEL…echoes the words God placed on the purified lips of Isaiah.
God’s majesty is so overwhelming that military and political power fade into insignificance. During stress-filled and frightening times, we need to rely on God’s promises and abandon our vain attempts to find security in our own plans and intrigues. We are called to lives reflecting ethical behavior if we aspire to live in the presence of our holy God.
Today, the world is as hungry for GOOD NEWS as was the starving crowd reclining on the grassy hillside in Galilee so long ago. Jesus’s instructions to His disciples back then hold true for Christians today. There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.
Purified by the Eucharist, it is our mission to nourish those hungering for truth, and the truth is simply this: >God’s majesty is so overwhelming that military and political power fade into insignificance. During stress-filled and frightening times, we need to rely on God’s promises and abandon our vain attempts to find security in our own plans and intrigues. We are called to lives reflecting ethical behavior if we aspire to live in the presence of our holy God.