HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[Isaias]

DURING the reign of Ozias, Joatham, and especially Achaz, the people of Juda were guilty of many acts of idolatry. Wherefore God sent them the great prophet Isaias. In sublime and terrific language he warned them of many fearful calamities that were to come upon their country, unless they did penance. Isaias was the great preacher of penance and of forgiveness of sins. “Hear the word of the Lord”, he wrote: “Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes: cease to do perversely. Learn to do well: seek judgment. Then come and accuse me, saith the Lord. If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: if they be red as crimson, they shall be as white as wool. But if you will provoke me to wrath, the sword shall devour you.”

To this prophet also the Lord revealed so many particulars relating to the Saviour of the world that, reading his prophecies, one would suppose Isaias had lived at the same time as our Divine Lord, instead of living seven hundred years before. A few of these prophecies will show how clearly this greatest of all the prophets foresaw the Birth, Passion and Death of the Redeemer.

Speaking of the Mother of the Messias, as well as of the Messias Himself, he said: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel, that is, God with us.”—“And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of godliness. And He shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord.”

“A Child is born to us, a Son is given to us, and the government is upon His shoulder. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.” “God Himself will come and save you; then shall the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.”

Concerning the Passion of our Lord he prophesied: “There is no beauty in Him, nor comeliness. Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows. He has borne our infirmities; He was wounded for our iniquities; He was bruised for our sins, and by His bruises we are healed. The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer.” Regarding His future glory, the prophet says: “The Gentiles shall beseech Him, and His sepulchre shall be glorious.” Isaias was prophesying for about fifty years. It is said that he, while yet alive, was sawn in two by order of the impious king Manasses.

The Omniscience of God. God sees the future as if it were actually present, and He revealed the life of the Redeemer so clearly to Isaias, that the prophet was able to describe it as if he had seen it in person.

The Holiness of God. He loves only that which is good, and detests evil. He wishes man to be good in thought, word and deed. “Wash yourselves, be clean, take away the evil of your devices from my eyes; cease to do perversely.”

The Mercy of God. He is quite ready to pardon if only the sinner will be converted. “Then (when you are converted), come and accuse me. If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow &c.”

True conversion consists, as the words of Isaias show, in a complete change of heart and life. The sinner must renounce all bad thoughts and sinful deeds, and must do what is right. He must hate the sins which he has hitherto loved, and must worship the God whom he has hitherto despised and offended.

Even the most grievous sins can be remitted, if only the sinner be truly penitent. “If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow; and if they be red as crimson, they shall be as white as wool.” Therefore, not even the greatest of sinners should despair of God’s mercy. If he does, he sins against the Holy Ghost, and is in danger of being lost eternally.

The testimony of the prophets helps and confirms our faith. The prophecies of Isaias and the other prophets were written by the inspiration of God, and have to his day been preserved in the Holy Scriptures in order to strengthen our faith. Our Saviour says: “Search the Scriptures, the same are they that give testimony of Me” (John 5:39). It must, indeed, confirm our faith to see that the very things which the Church teaches us about the Person and Life of the Redeemer, were foretold by the prophets hundreds of years before His Birth.

The prophecies of Isaias constitute the ninth promise of the Messias, and contain the following important doctrines of faith:

a) That the Redeemer is God; for Isaias writes: “God Himself will come and will save you”, and he calls Him “Emmanuel, or God with us”. Jesus Christ is indeed the true God with us, for He is the Son of God, made Man.

b) That the Divine Redeemer would be conceived and born of a virgin: “Conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary”.

c) That He would suffer sorrow and pain, that He would be wounded, sacrificed and slain (New Test. LXXIV).

d) That like a lamb He would suffer and die patiently and willingly. “He was offered because it was His own will, and He opened not His mouth. He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer.”

e) Isaias foretells in plain words that it was on account of the sins of men that the Redeemer would suffer and die, in order to win pardon and salvation for them. Thus he teaches the doctrine of the Vicarious satisfaction or Atonement made by the Redeemer of the world.

f) Finally, the prophet glances at the glory of the Divine Saviour, saying that His sepulchre would be glorious, and that the nations (Jews and Gentiles) would adore Him. The grave of our Lord was made glorious by His Resurrection; and the nations could not adore Him, were He not still in heaven our God and Mediator. Thus the prophecy foretells that, as Saviour of His people, He would rise from the dead, and sit on His throne in heaven: “He rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.” Isaias also describes in glowing terms the beauty, grandeur and universality of the Church of Christ under the names of the new Israel, new Jerusalem, new Sion.

Isaias was a great Saint of the Old Testament. He is venerated by the Church as a great preacher of penance, zealous for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, and also as a highly inspired prophet and martyr. When you recite the Litany of the Saints, and say, “All ye holy patriarchs and prophets, pray for us”, you can think especially of God’s holy prophet, Isaias.

APPLICATION. Is your piety only exterior? Does the holy fear of God reign within you? Do you love God with all your heart, and detest sin? Do you ever allow envious, malicious, revengeful, impure, or proud thoughts to enter your mind? Have you tried to amend your life since your last confession?








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com