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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

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St. John of Damascus

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
Luke 10:21-24

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your blessed eyes

"I tell you, many prophets and kings wished to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it." —Luke 10:24

The prophet Isaiah, who gave us today's first reading, had extraordinary visions of the future kingdom of God (e.g. Is 6:1ff; 11:1ff). No doubt Isaiah would have done anything to trade places with us so he could attend just one Mass. He could not see or hear what we can presently see and hear at Mass. King David, who composed psalms which prophesied the coming Messiah (e.g. Ps 2:7; 22:1ff; 23:1ff; 69:1ff), would have done anything to trade places with us so he could read the New Testament to learn about the Messiah he had spent his life praising.

At this morning's Mass, I heard the daily readings proclaimed at the Liturgy of the Word. I was able to read along with the lector in my very own Bible. Yet Isaiah and David never knew the name of Jesus nor heard the details of God's plan of salvation in Jesus. They were only able to salute it from afar (Heb 11:13).

At this morning's Mass, the priest elevated the consecrated, eucharistic Jesus for all to see. Blessed are my eyes, and your eyes as well, for we have seen what prophets and kings longed to see (Lk 10:23-24). I was privileged to receive the eucharistic Jesus, Body and Blood, soul and divinity, into my body (Catechism, 1374). "Who would believe what we have heard?" (Is 53:1) You have been very greatly blessed. Therefore, live out your blessing and daily seek the Lord Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, may I never treat Your gracious gift as pointless (Gal 2:21). I will turn ten times the more to seek You (Bar 4:28).

Promise:  "The earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea." —Is 11:9

Praise:  The teachings of St. John of Damascus inspired many, including St. Thomas Aquinas. John prayed: "Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with Your will, now until the end."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 16, 2018

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