The prophet Isaiah is the key prophet of the Old Testament. Except for the Psalms, the prophet Isaiah is the longest book of the Old Testament. This year, all four of the first readings during the season of Advent, as well as many daily Mass readings come from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Orthodox Christian Church even celebrates Saint Isaiah on May 9. Why is he so important? First, his prophecy is grounded in a powerful relationship with God. The vision we hear described at the start of the book of Isaiah forms the foundation for everything he says. Second, he is able to read the signs of the times. While he was surely politically astute, his message is consistent. Trust in God. Third, Isaiah recognizes and challenges people to see that sincere faith in God impacts the behaviors of our lives. Lastly, it is easy to see in the prophecies of Isaiah a foreshadowing of the life of Jesus and the arrival of the Messiah.
I do not think about the Holy Spirit often enough. The words from the book of Wisdom use such magnificent words to describe the Spirit: intelligent, holy, unique, Manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain. More important is how the Spirit can make true such amazing words to describe what God wants to do with each one of us. We have such tremendous potential when we hand our lives over to God. How can you know? ” For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” It is not the case that God is unwilling to help. It is that we must work to do all we can to embrace God’s love for each one of us. And when we do, we become more than we could ever imagine.