When the Old Testament reading is from Isaiah, it's almost always a prophecy about the Messiah. And this Sunday's reading definitely is one of them.
But instead of being the typical Messiah stuff - about how wonderful the Messiah is and/or how great everything will be - this one's a little different. Actually, it's a lot different.
It's got strength and power, just like the triumphant Messiah we see in other parts of Isaiah. But here the strength and power is focused on faithfulness and persistence, in the face of abuse that is deeply offensive and demeaning.
It's almost like Isaiah is describing a different person. But he's not. So the one receiving the scorn and abuse in Isaiah is the same one receiving the praises and palm branches in the pre-Mass Gospel? In a word, yes.
More on this tomorrow.