Today is the feast day of St. Andrew, so we're taking a break from our regular readings. Andrew was one of Jesus' first disciples and one of those who responded to the call of John the Baptist ("Behold, the lamb of God!") by following Jesus. According to Catholic Online:
Per Christian tradition, Andrew went on to preach the Good News around the shores of the Black Sea and throughout what is now Greece and Turkey. Andrew was martyred by crucifixion in Patras. He was bound, rather than nailed, to a cross, as is described in the Acts of Andrew. He was crucified on a cross form known as "crux decussata," which is an X-shaped cross or a "saltire." Today this is commonly referred to as "St. Andrew's Cross." It is believed Andrew requested to be crucified this way, because he deemed himself "unworthy to be crucified on the same type of cross as Jesus."
Isaiah's exhortation to come to the Lord is all of grace. Contrary to those who suggest the Old Testament is one only of Law or salvation by works, the prophet clearly calls us to come to God bringing nothing but our sin and receiving every good thing "without silver and without cost!" As St. Cyril points out:
How can they purchase, yet receive gifts without paying? Well, because we accept the payment in faith from Christ, and we pay for none of these things with short-term or perishable goods. For it says, “I said to my Lord, ‘You are my Lord since you have no need of goods from me.’ ” By way of gifts and honor to Christ we offer to Christ the confession of faith in him. So without money and payment comes this drink and bountiful gift of spiritual charisms. For what could we offer and what price could we pay for such a drink? For those drinking the living water are those enriched with grace through the Holy Spirit through participation in him and purchasing this through faith, since they are sharers of the wine and suet, that is, of the holy body and the blood of Christ.
-- Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Isaiah
Cyril reminds us that God's grace is received by faith and sustained by the sacraments. We contribute nothing. We merit nothing. We earn nothing. Redemption comes to us solely by the grace of our loving God. "Listen, so that you will live!"