By Deacon Keith Fournier
One of the greatest of the Hebrew Prophets, Isaiah proclaimed the coming of the promised Messiah in great detail and in some of the most beautiful prose in the entire Old Testament of the Bible. The Church looking back upon his inspired words, of course sees them, as she does the entirety of the Old Testament, in the light of the Incarnation, Nativity, Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of the Father who came into our midst to fulfill all that was foretold and to form the New Israel, the Church.
This Prophets' inspired proclamations have made their way into the fabric of the beautiful liturgical readings and hymns of this great season of joyful expectation called Advent. The Lord had called the Nation of Israel to be His very own people. He entered into a Covenant with them. They were to be His special possession, the ones through whom He would reveal his universal and loving plan of salvation for all men and women.
During the second half of the eighth century B.C., the Northern Kingdom had collapsed under the horrid and relentless attacks of Assyria and Jerusalem the Holy City had been besieged by the armies of Sennacharib. The forces of darkness had arrayed against the People of God and they cried out for deliverance to the Lord who had promised to protect them.
In 742 the King of Judah Uzziah died. The great Hebrew Prophet Isaiah received his commission from heaven. He had an extraordinary vision which is recounted in this Prophetic book of the Old Testament. He also gave his own "Fiat" of surrender to the Father's invitation to be His messenger. In words recorded in this powerful text we can see into Isaiah's heart. We hear the response of a man with an honest self assessment, well aware of his own sin and unworthiness, but willing to give himself to God's service:
"At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook and the house was filled with smoke. Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet 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)
Those last few words have echoed throughout the ages in the response of millions of Christians who have said "Yes" to the Lord's call in their own lives.
He was allowed to see the great Liturgy of heaven and hear the song of the Angels, heard by the prophet Isaiah, is still sung by the faithful at every Eucharistic Liturgy, the Thrice Holy Hymn. "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!" they cried one to the other. "All the earth is filled with his glory!"
To this wonderful Servant of God was also revealed the great plan of the Father to send His Son, the Messiah, in these familiar words which we will proclaim in the beautiful Liturgical celebrations of the nativity of the Lord:
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, as they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils. For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian. For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames. 1 For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains By judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this! (Isaiah 9)
More Advent & Christmas
The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming. We may reflect that every year at this time we celebrate his coming , so that in a sense we can lose the feeling of expectancy and joyful anticipation, because at the end of the season, everything seems to return to pretty much the same routine. If that is the case, then our preparation may have been lacking ... continue reading
To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace... continue reading
The weeks of Advent remind us to set aside some of the hectic business of the holiday season, and to quietly reflect on the promise of the baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The Bible readings listed below relate to the Advent themes of waiting, preparation, light in the darkness, and the coming of the promised Messiah. continue reading
More Advent & Christmas News
In the middle of a Christmas Eve service at the Phoenix Christian Assembly church, one pastor taught his congregation how to handle ... continue reading
Christians today often take the meaning of Christmas for granted. Unfortunately, the wonder and magnificence of the Incarnation and the ... continue reading
The month of December is full of shopping, baking, entertaining and planning all for the sake of a perfect Christmas celebration! But what ... continue reading
Since you came to Jesus, you've prayed, you've had faith in the Lord and you've done the best you could to meet God halfway - but now, near ... continue reading
"Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacred Council, being gathered together in the Holy ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- The Remarkable Story of an Underground Priest Living in China
- 'DEFEND the Pope!'
- Do you know what the Church really says about Nuclear War?
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 20th, 2017 HD Video
- St. Nerses the Great: Saint of the Day for Sunday, November 19, 2017
- Daily Readings for Sunday, November 19, 2017
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 HD Video
- Catholics are sharing Christ's compassion. HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 19th, 2017 HD
- Did Pope Francis blast 'perverse attitude' of climate change deniers? HD
- Scientists warn: The end of life as we know it is near HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way