Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ez 2:2-5

Today is the fourteenth Sunday in ordinary time in the Catholic church.  The first reading was from the book of Ezekiel.  It was so short that if you were not paying attention you could easily have missed it.  It was just four verses.  Chapter 2. Verses 2-5.  Here is is from the NABRE:

As the LORD spoke to me, the spirit entered into me
and set me on my feet,
and I heard the one who was speaking say to me:
Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites,
rebels who have rebelled against me;
they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.
Hard of face and obstinate of heart
are they to whom I am sending you.
But you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD!
And whether they heed or resist--for they are a rebellious house--
they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

Can I relate the 2:2-5 to much of anything in my life? Perhaps the time I hope to run in the 20 mile race this Labor Day weekend, as long as the weather is cool and crisp and not the dreadfully hot weather we have had the past couple days. But whether the 2:2-5 means anything to me or not, the words of Father Ray really caught my attention.

FIrst, he pointed out the number of problems in the world that arise form people being hard of face and obstinate of heart. It is interesting because the more common expression is "harden not your heart" not "harden not your face". And I had to think about what obstinate exactly meant. But Father Ray put it quite simply--people who refuse to acknowledge or problem or refuse to let themselves feel compassion. No matter what a person's political persuasion, the first step in solving any problem (whether one's own or the world's) is to acknowledge that there is one and to acknowledge that there might be a solution. We can debate the solution, of course. But recognizing the problem and allowing for compassion will often go a long way.

Even more hitting home for me was how Father Ray directed us to think of the last line.  It was not just aimed at Ezekiel.  It was not just a foretelling of Jesus Christ.  It is aimed at each of us.  Each of us has the role of being a prophet and spreading God's word.  

It is with verses like this that I struggle.  What does that mean?  Is helping others to share God's word as a musician enough?  Is teaching Sunday school enough?  Is conversing with people who want to talk religion enough?  Is this blog enough?  Or is there more?  And what could it be?  

I don't know.  But I do know how important it is to me to explore the word of God, to try to comprehend the word of God, and to share the word of God.  Even if it does all come in small steps.  And today's homily was a good reminder.  

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