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.’
First reading for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah receives and overwhelming experience of the glory of God, and in it knows his sinfulness, perhaps with new intensity. He fears for his life because he, a sinner, has looked upon the most High God.
But the Most High God looks on us with compassion and care, and most especially so for sinners. He cherishes us and works for our healing and help.
Angels free Isaiah from his fear, and free him for loving service in his turn.
- To whom does the Lord send you?
- How do you find the responsibility he entrusts to you?