The first reading at Mass today comes from the prophet Isaiah and is one of the sources for the song that is an invariable element of the Eucharistic Prayer: the Sanctus, the Holy…
In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord of Hosts seated on a high throne; his train filled the sanctuary; above him stood seraphs, each one with six wings.
And they cried out to one another in this way,
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts.
His glory fills the whole earth.’
The foundations of the threshold shook with the voice of the one who cried out, and the Temple was filled with smoke. I said:
‘What a wretched state I am in! I am lost,
for I am a man of unclean lips
and I live among a people of unclean lips,
and my eyes have looked at the King, the Lord of Hosts.’
Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding in his hand a live coal which he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. With this he touched my mouth and said:
‘See now, this has touched your lips,
your sin is taken away,
your iniquity is purged.’
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
‘Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?’
I answered, ‘Here I am, send me.’
The passage reminds us that in our prayer together here on earth we are joined with the Heavenly Liturgy – angels and all – even as we are joined with Jesus in his once-and-for-all sacrifice and self-offering to the Father.
We who are unworthy are joined with the holiness of the Son and the heavenly hosts…
And we who are unworthy are sent to continue the mission of sharing the good news of God’s healing and love for all…
Mobile, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.