Friday, July 8, 2016

"IN THE YEAR THAT KING UZZIAH DIED."


Homily for July 9th, 2016: Isaiah 6:1-8.
AIn the year King Uzziah died. I saw the Lord,@ the prophet Isaiah tells us in our first reading. Uzziah had been king for some four decades. His death, and the accession of a new monarch, were a breakup of landslide proportions. Golden opportunities await, at such times, young men with good connections. Isaiah was young. He had the right connections.
So in the year that King Uzziah died, Isaiah had every reason to be excited about the dazzling prospect of a new career opening up before him. And precisely at that time of unique opportunity, he found the way blocked. A more exalted king than any who ever sat upon an earthly throne summoned this brilliant, well-connected young man to higher service. Isaiah never forgot it.
Dramatic experiences like that are rare. What is not rare, indeed what is very common, is the shattering of plans or expectations, the sudden blocking up of progress along our chosen path, which Isaiah experienced. Perhaps there is someone here today who is facing the collapse of hopes, plans, or dreams. Your life seems to be coming apart at the seams. You don’t know which way to turn. If that, or any of that, is your story, then listen. The Lord has good news for you.

Times of crisis are always times of opportunity, times of growth. Sometimes the only way God can get at us is by breaking us B or allowing us to be broken. To set us on the right way, God must sometimes block up the way we are on B even it is in itself a good way. What looks to you like the end of all your hopes, the destruction of every plan and aspiration you ever entertained, may be the Lord=s summons to a closer, if more difficult, walk with him. God never closes a door in our lives without opening another. The Lord has shown me that in my life B again and again.

As we travel life=s way, we who in baptism have become sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ should be sharpening our spiritual vision. For it is only with the eyes of faith that we can perceive the unseen, spiritual world all round us: beneath, behind, above this world of sense and time. Faith assures us that the Lord is watching over us always, in good times and in bad: the same God who appeared to Isaiah in the year that King Uzziah died. Glimpsing this mighty God, our loving heavenly Father, with the eyes of faith, we too join B as in a moment we shall B in the angels= song first heard by Isaiah:  AHoly, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!  All the earth is filled with his glory!@