Year C: 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Isaiah 6: 1-8
Last week, we heard of the call of the prophet Jeremiah - today, we hear the call of another of the major prophets, Isaiah.
Jeremiah’s call was comparatively gentle - the word of God coming to him assuring him of his chosen-ness - warning him of difficulties ahead but not intimidating or overwhelming.
By contrast, Isaiah’s call comes in the form of a vision which leaves him, like Peter in the Gospel both attracted and afraid.
Isaiah is given a glimpse of the glory of God - of his power - radiance - and glory of those who attend him. This, understandably, fills him with fear. It is not the fear that we experience in the presence of evil or when we feel threatened. Rather it is the fear that comes from being aware of something overpoweringly wonderful - that takes our breath away - and leaves us feeling inadequate and awkward. It is not the beauty and wonder that makes us afraid - it is the awareness of our own weakness in the face of it that can leave us trembling and tongue-tied.
So with Isaiah. He is conscious that he is grossly unworthy to have seen this vision - being as he is a man of “unclean lips”. When he pleads his cause, the Lord assures him that his lips -and his words will be purified and will speak to the people. When his lips are touched with the coal - the Almighty speaks and asks a question - whom shall he send to speak to his people.
In the face of his fear and the wonder of the moment, Isaiah responds in the only way he can: Here I am - send me.
Our call may not be so dramatic - but God still looks at situations in the world and asks - whom can I send.. How we respond is what makes a difference to those situations.
Text © 2006 WellspringWeekly Wellsprings ]