St. Irenaeus Ministries
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In Isaiah we read of the Servant songs, a collection of poems or songs speaking of the servant of God. There are ancient Rabbinic sources that see Isaiah 53 as referring explicitly to a suffering Messiah. The Babylonian Talmud, the midrash on Ruth, the Aramaic Targum, the writings of Moses Maimonides, and the mystical texts of the Zohar all contain exegesis to this effect. 

We have two strains of thought in these servant songs - the suffering Messiah and the reigning Messiah. Christians have interpreted these texts as referring to the First and Second Comings of Christ. At the critical turning point of the Gospel, Jesus asks his disciples "Who do people say I am?" It is here that Peter gives his confession and Jesus the prediction of his crucifiction. He then goes on to talk about discipleship and his Second Coming. In Mathew 16:27 we read a prediction about the Son of Man at the End of Time. 

Christ came 2000 years ago to show us the way, but he showed more. He, of his own will, voluntarily died for our sins and was raised again triumphantly. This triumphance was not seen by everyone and he did not remain on Earth to reign. There is a great deal yet to be established. Our Earth is not yet the Messianic Kingdom; there is more yet to be accomplished in this great drama. A great drama that includes each of us.

Direct download: Advent_9.mp3
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The Second Coming of Christ is a key doctrine in our Creed. And yet, it often does not receive a great deal of attention. It necessarily completes and complements the First Coming. Without a lively anticipation of Our Lord's return, our faith is left a great deal diminished. 

The Psalms speak to the Messianic Hope and the glory of God in the First and Second Comings. In the beginning of Hebrews, the author quotes from Psalm 102 and produces one of the clearest attributions of divinity to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. 

We read about King Ahaz in 2 Kings, during a time when God was with the people of Israel though the king acted wickedly and not in accordance with God's commands. In contrast to the starkness of King Ahaz' reign, Isaiah speaks of a child being given, and of a peace which will have no end. 

In Isaiah's prophecies of Christ we see predictions of a final victory. There is nothing ambivalent in the predictions - the Messiah is to usher in a type of fabled age pictured as a time when the wolf shall dwell with the lamb. This is a glorious picture, a child possessing not only heroic but divine qualities. One of his titles is listed as "Mighty God". 

Direct download: Advent_8.mp3
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