Homily for Saturday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The presence of God is awe inspiring and heart melting.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Saturday July 11 2020
READINGS: Isaiah 6: 1-8, Ps. 93, Matthew 10: 24-33
This is the part of Isaiah that is called Proto-Isaiah which should have been the beginning of Isaiah as the story of his call, but the editor puts it at Chapter six. The vision of Isaiah that is narrated in this episode is so awe inspiring and speaks about the personality and image of God. God is seen to be a pure spirit and being so, his encounter with humans that is both body and spirit changes the whole being of the human person and puts him in a mind-melting and confused state that is both unbelievable and incomprehensible. In the Old Testament, it is believed even till today that no one can see God and live and no human mouth can pronounce his name. The Jews use attributes to call him for no one knows his name or can pronounce it. This is further explained in the episode of Moses’ meeting God in the burning bush and inquired of his name. God in response could not tell Moses what he is called rather told him that: I am who am has called you. God’s name here is called I AM. If his name is so Holy that he cannot be mentioned by human mouth what will it be like to see him as he really is while still on earth? St John told us that seeing God would be in the next world and not here on earth and so he said: We are all children of God but what we know is that one day we shall see him face to face as he really is. This is about the beatific vision at parousea. Today we are talking of a human being, a prophet of God in sinful state being given the privilege to be on earth and see the glory of God. This is a wonderful privilege and vision to behold.
Beloved, at another vision of God during transfiguration Peter became confused and spoke without being sui compos that is without being in possession of himself rather in a more confused situation than trance. The scripture reported that he said: It is beautiful to be here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Elijah and one for Moses. The scripture quickly added that he did not know what he was saying. This vision is not as magnificent and great like that of Isaiah. Peter’s own was about the glimpse of heaven, the glimpse of holy dead people Elijah and Moses and the living Christ who was still their master. Isaiah’s own was a sight of a pure spirit, the God-Head and who himself the creator is. What can qualify a sinful human being to behold God in any form? How can the embodied spirit behold a pure spirit and comprehend and remain conscious of himself? Imagine the site where the Seraphim were gathered with wings, how the foundation of that place was shaking like earthquake, imagine the Seraphs saying Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of Host and that the whole earth is full of his glory. Can humanity feel the glory of God that fills the earth? This is the shekinah glory that is unbearable to the mere human being. This is why Isaiah became eaten up by the vision. We get enwrapped at the meeting of God; we lose our mere humanity and are divinized. We pass the earthly material realm when we have the opportunity to behold God. Our God is great and Almighty, invincible in strength.
This is the God we long to be attached to and be one with. This is the God of our life and our hope and faith. In his presence there is anointing, there is blessing, there is transformation and there is beatification. We forget the passing world and contemplate the greatness of God and become one with him. Everybody should long for this divine presence and opportunity to behold the glory of God. When in prayer someone is lifted up in the spirit, he would not like to return back to this earthly distracting world but finds great joy and satisfaction being in that state. The presence of God in his Holiness reminds us that we are mere mortals and sinful people who are not worthy to be in his presence. It leads us to penitence and decreases our human ego calling us to the reality of our nothingness before God and our being something in God made by God. This is why Isaiah lamented by saying: Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.
Let us work and pray to be as God as our master whom we cannot be better than. May our life never ridicule God like the people who assign a spirit of Beelzebul to him and may we become those who would proclaim the message of God on the hilltops and uncover all hidden secrets of the kingdom of God. May we fear only God who has power to destroy everything of us even our memory and stop fearing mortal humans who get lost and subject themselves to the authority of God. May our lives acknowledge Jesus here on earth before all people so that he will acknowledge us before the Father in heaven. This would lead us to this beatific vision that Isaiah saw. May the Lord who has robbed himself with power and with majesty enrobed be our God and may we find him on the last day, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf