The Kingdom of Israel split into the North (Israel) and the South (Judah) approximately 931 BC with the decision of Rehoboam to increase forced labor on the Israelites and because of the sins of his father Solomon. For hundreds of years the rival kingdoms had separate kings who often rejected God. In order to call them back, God sent prophets to be His mouthpiece to both kingdoms. The prophet Isaiah, who was sent to the southern Kingdom of Judah, had prophecies that not only spoke to his current time, but also pointed to the coming Messiah and His kingdom.

In one vision, Isaiah is in God’s holy temple where God is seated on the throne and the Seraphim are singing His praises. In the presence of God, Isaiah immediately acknowledges his sinfulness that makes him unworthy to be there. After Isaiah’s humble confession, one of the Serpham takes tongs and grabs a flaming ember from the altar of the Lord. The Seraphim touches the ember to Isaiah’s lips and says now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged (Isaiah 6:7). God then asks who His messenger will be. Isaiah, made clean by the ember, is given the strength to answer the call of God to prophesy to Israel. 

Since Isaiah is unworthy to be in God’s presence, God gives Isaiah the particular grace to see and repent of his sins. There is only one who is worthy to stand in the full presence of the Lord without fear: Jesus. He stands before God as the righteous unblemished lamb for all of eternity. So the only way Isaiah can stand before the Lord and do His will is through the person of Jesus, the Word of God. For Isaiah, it was a fiery ember that came from the altar of God by the hand of an angel which purifies Isaiah and fills him with the Word of God which he is now ready to boldly proclaim.

Like Isaiah, at each mass we ask for the forgiveness of our sins, receive God’s Word in the scriptures and then participate in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is God’s burning love for us taken straight from the altar of God and received through our mouth. Jesus in the Eucharist is God’s mercy that takes away our wickedness and sin as we put on His disposition. Once we receive the Eucharist, we are sent out to proclaim the Good News to all the world, to do the will of the Father, to prophesy in the name of Jesus, and to act with power of the Holy Spirit. Just like Isaiah, the reception of the Word of God drives us to share His Good News and Love with all people.

Originally published in Prime Soil Magazine | Vol. 1 No. 2

Originally presented at The 10th National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024



At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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