Living the Word: Isaiah 60:1-2
“The Glory of the Lord Shines Upon You”
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Friends, I received an inspiration in prayer recently to start focusing my bulletin articles explicitly on a portion of scripture from the Sunday readings of the mass for which the bulletin is published. My hope is to take a line or two of scripture and seek to allow the Spirit to inspire us to live the reality that God communicates to us through His Word.
This week we’ll focus on the first two verses of Isaiah, chapter 60: “Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory.”
The Lord had told Isaiah previously (chapter 9 of Isaiah) to prophesy about a great light that was to break forth upon Israel and that this light was to come through the birth of a child (Is 9:6), indeed referring to the child he had previously prophesied about as being born of a virgin (Is 7:14). The light that would come to the people who walked in great darkness was Jesus. The great blessing God gave Aaron to say in Numbers 6, “may the Lord make his face to shine upon you”, would be bestowed in a whole new way as the presence of God shone upon a world darkened by sin and death through the face of the newborn Christ. Isaiah prophesied, “his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!” (Is 9:6) In and through Jesus, the glory of God (God’s glory is the visible manifestation of his awesome majesty!) shown upon the people who were blessed to receive the Son of God, the light of the world (Jn 8:12).
I want to invite you to revisit the Isaiah passage above and read it once more with a fresh set of eyes, both seeing and hearing that the Lord says these words to us here and now. Jesus told his disciples, “you are the light of the world.” (Mt 5:14) Our Lord knew what He and the Father and Holy Spirit were planning to do, to fill us with the Holy Spirit in the majesty of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31), an everlasting covenant that would bring us into eternal intimacy that leads to true familial discipleship. This discipleship involves living out the reality of our baptismal identity (God’s son or daughter!) and confirmation commissioning that the faith of our family members led us to at a young age, or which we were led to pursue as adults, not having received those sacraments in our infancy and/or youth.
The Lord wants you to know, He wants you to experience that the glory of the Lord shines upon you! How badly this world swathed in darkness needs to see the light of God’s glory (the manifestation of His presence) through your smile, your words, your courage, your love, your generosity! We Christians shine brightest in the darkness. Unleash it, Child of God!!
Love you, Fr. Patrick