On That Day……. ( Canticle of Isaiah 1/6 )

“On that day you will say , I give thanks to you O Lord, though you have been angry with me …”

This stanza , or the very beginning of this canticle is also at the very beginning of Isaiah 3.  While researching some of this canticle , we find that some authors or commentaries, leave out that very first line ” On that day you will say.. ” As a point of interest and after some research, you will find that this is not just a canticle but a prophecy.  In fact Isaiah’s very first prophecy given around the age of 20 years old and as the beginning of a 52 year prophetic ministry that would culminate in Isaiah  being Martyred by King Mannasah.  The history if his martyrdom is referenced in Hebrews (11:37).  He was Martyred by being sawed in two after telling the King his people spoke with unclean lips.

Isaiah had an interesting life.  He was a person of some prominence in Jerusalem and was taken prisoner during the Babylonian exile.  To spite being a prisoner or slave Isaiah was able to keep his faith and win converts.  In the history of the Church he was ranked third in the number of prophecies that were revealed.  This to spite clinging through the reign of several kings and managing to be counselor to each.

” I give thanks to you O Lord, “

The opening of this canticle comes with humility, praise, and thanksgiving.  There is a certain air of repentance, a desire for rejoining what was lost and an acknowledgement of sin and separation.

How many times have you entered into a situation and the human reaction licks in, and then actions are taken, words are spoken, pain is inflicted and all are hurt.  The husband, the wife, the child, the friend, brother, sister, family, acquaintance, or stranger.  All of them are the Body of Christ.    Then we go back to try and reconcile, apologize and share love to rebuild the relationships.

The same is true of our relationship with God.  We find ourselves in situations were we let our human failings, our human-ness get in the way, we sin, we fail, we fall.   We may not even be initially aware that we failed.  THe longer and harder we strive at living a Godly life, the more aware we become of the failings we have.  The result becomes the greater our awareness of our failings, the greater our need for forgiveness.  This is the point of the sacrament of Reconciliation.  This is a time of reconciling a time to repair the damage done to the relationship with God through the sins we have committed.

There is praise to God in this canticle for a peek into what the Kingdom of God is like in heaven.  The Love of God and the people of God together at the heavenly banquet, being one with our brothers and sisters and our loved ones who have fallen asleep in Christ, now resurrected as Christ was.  It is also a time of praise to God for all he has done.

It is hard, if not impossible, to praise God separate from the feelings of and the need for thanksgiving.  ON earth, we have so much to be thankful for.  Blessing upon blessing that flow from heaven and the miracles large and small.  Then in heaven to stand before God here we can learn the fullness of truths.  How much more would the outpouring of praise and thanksgiving be !

We need  to clear some misconceptions  about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which has historically be called “confession”.  Probably most of you grew up with the idea of “confession”, and still refer to it that way.  But there are several parts to this sacrament and each fundamental to the whole.  There is the call to CONVERSION, or a call to return to God.  Then there is PENANCE.  Just as tithing sanctifies our work day, penance in a way sanctifies the work of returning to, or reconciling with God.  CONFESSION, is the acknowledgment of sin and praise of God and his his mercy.  FORGIVENESS, Through the sacrament and the person of the priest, God grants pardon and peace. ( CCC 1422-1424).   

 

This is the part that many people have issues with.  It is important to note that only God forgives sin ( Mark 2:7).. At the same time, Jesus gave to the Church to exercise that ministry in His name on earth  ( John 20-23).

It is called reconcilliation  because it allows us to be ” reconcilled with God ” ( Cor 5:20 ) and be ready to reconcile with others ( Matthew  5:24 ) we have hurt.  The second part of this idea is to attempt to rectify what has been done to our brothers and sisters as much as is possible.  The return of misappropriated things, the payment of debts, telling the truth, making reparations or restitutions, in short making it right.  Just like the journey thourgh death to resurrection, we experience the journey of sin through to thanksgiving and praise. 

 

Reconciliation is probably the most ignored or avoided sacrament that we have.  On the other hand, it is also one of the most helpful and powerful sacraments we have.  Like a pilgrimage it takes effort,but is edifying. Some might view this sacrament like a trip to the Doctor’s office.  Your in pain, you don’t feel good about what is going on with you.  This is the sin, the division, you conscience telling you that tou are wounded or ” infected” if you will.  Maybe like some you put off  going and maybe it will get better on its own, but it does not.  Eventually, you break down and go see the doctor.  There is a triage, where you tell the doctor a bit about what is going on.  You confess these things you can recall.   There are then tests to be done.  Do an examination of conscience.  You probe those areas of your life like a biopsy that allows you to put things into perspective.  You get a prognosis and get medicine, who is your absolution and penance.  Maybe after the trip to the doctors office you go home or to work and talk about your healing..  This is the praise and thanksgiving we offer for the healing we have received.  If you have never been, or if you have not been  to see the Divine Physician, don’t put it off any longer… You will be happy you did !

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One Response to “On That Day……. ( Canticle of Isaiah 1/6 )”

  1. SaintlySages Says:

    A fitting analogy. Some say churchgoers and their clergy are hypocrites because they go to church on Sunday to profess their faith, and the rest of the week commit sin. But in truth they go to church precisely because they recognize their sinfulness and need for spiritual healing afforded by the sacraments. God bless!

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