The Good News.
The person who brings the good news of salvation has beautiful feet, Isaiah says in the First Reading. That is a funny part of the anatomy to single out as beautiful. Hardly anyone has beautiful feet. On the contrary, human feet are often so ugly that they are funny. They tend to be dirty and smelly, too. When Jesus wants to set the apostles an example of humility, he washes their feet.
In the First Reading, the person with the beautiful feet brings the good news that God has provided salvation for his people. And, of course, this text is read at Christmas because the word of salvation that God speaks to his people is his Son, born as a baby in Bethlehem. The beautiful feet are his. He is the Savior.
The Second Reading says that the Savior is the refulgence of the glory of God. Could anything be more beautiful than this glorious light? Maybe Isaiah means that for the Savior even the feet, the human feet, are beautiful since the whole person of the Savior is so luminous in glory.
But what did the Savior, with his beautiful feet, bring? What is the good news?
The Gospel Reading says that the Savior gives any person who comes to him the power to be a son of God, a child of God, like the Savior himself. But to be like him, refulgent in glory, is to be beautiful too.
And so the person with the beautiful feet, the Savior, brings this good news: he can make beautiful all those who come to him. He brings beauty all through, even for ugly feet, even for broken hearts, to all those who open to his coming.
Eleonore Stump is Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University
**From Saint Louis University