2nd Week of Great Lent v Thursday. The Sixth Hour

The Holy Eucharist and hearing the voice of God - Isaiah 6:1-12

And it came to pass in the year in which king Ozias died, [that] I saw
the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne, and the house was full of
his glory. 2. And seraphs stood round about him: each one had six wings:
and with two they covered [their] face, and with two they covered
[their] feet, and with two they flew. 3. And one cried to the other, and
they said, Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord of hosts: the whole earth is
full of his glory. 4. And the lintel shook at the voice they uttered,
and the house was filled with smoke.5. And I said, Woe is me, for I am
pricked to the heart; for being a man, and having unclean lips, and I
have seen with mine eyes the King, the Lord of hosts. 6. And there was
sent to me one of the seraphs, and he had in his hand, a coal, which he
had taken off the altar with the tongs: 7. and he touched my mouth, and
said, Behold, this has touched thy lips, and will take away thine
iniquities, and will purge off thy sins. Isaiah 6:1-7

Most people have heard or read this passage from Isaiah and understand
that it refers to the Holy Mysteries. It is a prophesy of what was to
come v after the incarnation of the God-man Jesus Christ, we would be
fed with the bread which came down from heaven v the holy Eucharist. 

The priest repeats some of these words when he communes every person: 

?Behold this hath touched thy lips, and taketh away all thine iniquities
and purgeth all thy sins¦

As in all of Holy Scripture, true understanding is in the details. Those
who have ?ears to hear¦ listen closely, and perceive all shades of
meaning. Those who do not have such ears are those whom the Lord orders
Isaiah to give the message: 

"Go, and say to this people. 9. Ye shall hear indeed, but ye shall not
understand; and ye shall see indeed, but ye shall not perceive. 10. For
the heart of this people has become gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with
their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart,
and be converted, and I should heal them.¦ Isaiah 6:9-10

There is a stark contrast presented here. Isaiah is healed by the holy
coal which touches his lips because of his faith. See how he thinks of
himself: 

?And I said, Woe is me, for I am pricked to the heart; for being a man,
and having unclean lips, and I have seen with mine eyes the King, the
Lord of hosts.¦

Such a man God will heal. ?God resists the proud, but gives grace to the
humble¦, and the greatest grace is given by the Holy Eucharist. 

How can we know the holy prophet was truly humble? After all, words are
easy to say.

We must not receive the grace of God in vain. The partaking of communion
must initiate ACTION in us. The voice of God will also be present for
us. Isaiah not only has words, he has actions. Will we hear God as
Isaiah did? 

?And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who
will go to this people? And I said, behold, I am [here], send me.¦
Isaiah 6:8

Why do we live such mediocre lives? Why do we confess the same sins over
and over? Why is there so little change in our lives? Let us look at
ourselves carefully: are we hearing the voice of God? Are we saying to
God as Isaiah: ?I am here, send me?¦

There are two ways of living v one leads to life and one leads to death.
There are two ways of communing the Holy Mysteries. Isaiah shows us one,
and the people he preaches to shows us the other. May we live in such a
way that every time we commune, not just the priest, but the Lord says
to us: 

Behold, this has touched thy lips, and will take away thine iniquities,
and will purge off thy sins. 

----------

Is 6:1-12 And it came to pass in the year in which king Ozias died,
[that] I saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne, and the
house was full of his glory. 2. And seraphs stood round about him: each
one had six wings: and with two they covered [their] face, and with two
they covered [their] feet, and with two they flew. 3. And one cried to
the other, and they said, Holy, holy, holy [is the] Lord of hosts: the
whole earth is full of his glory. 4. And the lintel shook at the voice
they uttered, and the house was filled with smoke. 5. And I said, Woe is
me, for I am pricked to the heart; for being a man, and having unclean
lips, and I have seen with mine eyes the King, the Lord of hosts. 6. And
there was sent to me one of the seraphs, and he had in his hand, a coal,
which he had taken off the altar with the tongs: 7. and he touched my
mouth, and said, Behold, this has touched thy lips, and will take away
thine iniquities, and will purge off thy sins. 8. And I heard the voice
of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go to this people?
And I said, behold, I am [here], send me. And he said, Go, and say to
this people. 9. Ye shall hear indeed, but ye shall not understand; and
ye shall see indeed, but ye shall not perceive. 10. For the heart of
this people has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and
their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and
hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted,
and I should heal them. 11. And I said, How long O Lord? And he said,
Until cities be deserted by reason of their not being inhabited, and the
houses by reason of there being no men, and the land shall be left
desolate. 12. And after this God shall remove the men far off, and they
that are left upon the land shall be multiplied. (Great Lent, the Second
week, Thursday, At the Sixth Hour)

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.       HYPERLINK "http://www.orthodox.net/"
 St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas 

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