The prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired about this salvation; they inquired what person or time was indicated by the Spirit of Christ within them when predicting the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things which have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
This week I am going to give you Scripture readings which, when carefully meditated upon, will open up and enrich the treasures of meaning in these these three verses from chapter one of St. Peter’s first letter. Three sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), suggested by the Catholic Commentary, are also excellent resources for these particular verses.
First, going to Acts 2:14-36, Peter’s first good news sermon to the crowds in Jerusalem immediately after the Holy Spirit had descended and filled the believers who had gathered in prayer together waiting for the promise, is rich with the prophetic Scriptures to which he alludes here, in his first letter. It is well worth reading more than once, with prophecies and fulfilled promises in mind.
Next, it is essential to remember the risen Christ’s words to the two disciples walking together on the road to Emmaus, in Luke 24:25-27: And he said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Immediately turning to Isaiah 53 after reading these words of Christ gives one such a remarkable sense of the Messianic prophecies fulfilled that it could cause a person to jump up out of the chair in which he or she is sitting! The reason I mention this is that, a Jewish man who had recently joined our little church in the early 1970s (he had fought in the Six Day War) was sitting at our dining room table when my husband decided to read Isaiah 53 to him and ask him, “Where do you suppose that Scripture passage is, in the Bible?” The new convert answered, “Well, it has got to be somewhere among the letters of the New Testament.” When he was then told that it was a passage from the prophet Isaiah, he literally leapt out of his chair and excitedly said, “Please let me see that; I must show it to my mother!”
The three passages from the CCC which beautifully teach the prophetic continuity about which St.Peter’s letter speaks are Sections 64, 702, and 719.
And, finally, to enrich our sense of eternal perspective I would suggest a fresh reading and pondering of Psalm 90. Some cross references which may be helpful are: v.1–Deuteronomy 33:27a,b; v.2–Genesis 1:1-3, and John 1:1-5; vs.4-6–II Peter 3:8 and Isaiah 40:6-8; v.12–Proverbs 2:2-6; vs.13,14–Jeremiah 31:10-14.
Blessings on your studies! JC