“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”- Isaiah 8:1-8 (NRSV)
Vision Of The Heavenly Temple
There is so much imagery in the Old Testament reading from today’s Mass. Isaiah has a vision of the heavenly temple. He sees angels, the Lord sitting on the throne, and an altar. The angels are singing an angelic hymn part of which we acclaim at ever Mass, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory”. When we are at Mass we sing this as part of the liturgy of the Eucharist. In doing so we unite ourselves with those in the faith who have passed on to their eternal reward. The Church Militant and the Church triumphant unite ourselves in heavenly praise. There is so much more scripture in the Mass than we realize.
Isaiah then remember that he is unclean and knows that nobody can look upon the Lord and live. One of the angels takes a coal off of the altar, and in effect cauterizes the lips of Isaiah. He is longer unclean. The same happens with us in reconciliation.
The Lord then asked who will go and Isaiah gives a simple, and yet profound response. “Send me”. Isaiah could have easily not said anything. Perhaps that is how we feel at times. Maybe you feel that you are unworthy to share the Gospel with those around you. Certainly Isaiah felt this way yet he answered the call of the Lord. Each of us has a calling and a gift that can further the mission of the Church. Your story, whether you are a convert or revert, will resonate with someone and encourage them. Today the Lord asks you and I the same question that he asked Isaiah in this temple vision. The Lord asks “Whom shall I send?” What will you tell the Lord today? We have all sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23), but God is bigger than our past. He can use that past to change someone’s life. Here I am Lord. Send me.
Christ made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve.-St Agnes of Rome
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.-St Francis De Sales
In confession there is mercy. Believe it firmly, do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God.-St Isidore of Seville
I place trust in God, my creator, in all things; I love Him with all my heart.-St Joan of Arc
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