Monday, December 12, 2011

Christ and the Church right there in Isaiah

From today's Office of Readings --the regular weekday office, not the common of Our Lady for O.L. of Guadalupe--we continue with Isaiah, plumbing the depths and puzzling through prophecy, prophecy, and more prophecy.

Isaiah is tough for us non-scholars (and  probably for them too) because his prophecies refer to, and/or can be applied to, many events at different times in history: The upcoming conquest of Israel, it's exile, it's return, the coming of the Messiah, the fall of Jerusalem, the Church as the new Jerusalem.  After a few weeks of advent, the lines of Isaiah can all seem to blur together into an endless cycle of destruction and woe, promises of restoration and redemption, woe, redemption, etc.etc.

So it's nice when something jumps out at  you, fresh and wonderful. Today this happened  as I read what seems to speak of the Eucharist, baptism, the preaching of Jesus, and the ongoing instruction He gives us through the teaching authority  of the Catholic Church:

The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst.
No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see you Teacher.
While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: "This is the way; walk in it," when you would turn to the right or to the left.

Wow! That's what Jesus does today through the Church, as surely as He did it standing the shores of Galilee or sitting on Mt. Tabor. We are not left to page frantically through the Bible, comparing that verse with this one, looking up what the Hebrew or the Greek says, consulting this or that theologian for interpretations.
Instead, we look to Peter,a teacher we can see,  who with the authority Christ gave to him  says "This is the way. Walk in it."