instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God

Very thoughtful of it to snow on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when the first reading is oh so Christmassy (well, Adventy):
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”
This is Isaiah 7:14, with the translation "God is with us!" taken from Isaiah 8:10.

Isaiah 7:15 is included as part of this reading in the Liturgy of the Hours; the NABRE gives it as:
Curds and honey he will eat so that he may learn to reject evil and choose good.
I always thought that was a strange prophecy to associate with Jesus, both because Jesus was sinless from conception and because eating curds and honey seems like an odd way of learning to reject evil and choose good.

The NABRE's note of Isaiah 7:15 states that curds and honey would be "the only diet available to those who are left after the devastation of the land."

We might, then, understand curds and honey to be a symbol of the consequences of living in a fallen world, and it's certainly true that Jesus experienced these consequences. We might even say that, Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered, and what is obedience to the will of the Father but rejecting evil and choosing good?

I'll add that, if curds and honey is a simple diet, it's still food, and even in the devastation of the land the LORD sustains His people.