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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that the Lord addresses his people. Since they were unfaithful to him, they will experience his judgment. All is not lost, if they return to him he will restore them once again. In Ezekiel, the Lord gives him a vision of Jerusalem. He sees the Temple with both the false worship and glory of God. Ezekiel is called by the Lord as the “son of man.” This term gives Ezekiel the power and authority from God.

Later a man is told to put a mark — the Hebrew letter tau, which is the shape of the cross — on those who mourn what is happening in the temple. Six men are sent to kill all of those who do not have a sign of the cross on their foreheads.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Isaiah 47

1 Step down! Sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon. Sit on the ground, no throne, daughter of the Chaldaeans, for never again willyou be called tender and delicate.

2 Take the grinding mill, crush up the meal. Remove your veil, tie up your skirt, bare your legs, cross the rivers.

3 Let your nakedness be displayed and your shame exposed. I am going to take vengeance and no one will stand in my way.

4 Our redeemer, Yahweh Sabaoth is his name, the Holy One of Israel, says:

5 Sit in silence, bury yourself in darkness, daughter of the Chaldaeans, for never again will you be called the mistress of kingdoms.

6 Being angry with my people, I rejected my heritage, surrendering them into your clutches. You showed them no mercy, you made your yoke very heavy on the aged.

7 You thought, ‘I shall be a queen for ever.’ You did not reflect on these matters or think about the future.

8 Now listen to this, voluptuous woman, lolling at ease and thinking to yourself, ‘I am the only one who matters. I shall never be widowed, never know bereavement.’

9 Yet both these things will befall you, suddenly, in one day. Bereavement and widowhood will suddenly befall you in spite of all your witchcraft and the potency of your spells.

10 Confident in your wickedness, you thought, ‘No one can see me.’ Your wishes and your knowledge were what deluded you, as you thought to yourself, ‘I am the only one who matters.’

11 Hence, disaster will befall you which you will not know how to charm away, calamity overtake you which you will not be able to avert, ruination will suddenly befall you, such as you have never known.

12 Keep to your spells then, and all your sorceries, at which you have worked so hard since you were young. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will strike terror!

13 You have had many tiring consultations: let the astrologers come forward now and save you, the star-gazers who announce month by month what will happen to you next.

14 Look, they are like wisps of straw, the fire will burn them up. They will not save their lives from the power of the flame. No embers these, for keeping warm, no fire to sit beside!

15 Such will your wizards prove to be for you, for whom you have worked so hard since you were young; each wandering his own way, none of them can save you.

Isaiah 48

1 Listen to this, House of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and issued from the waters of Judah, who swear by the name of Yahweh and invoke the God of Israel, though not in good faith or uprightness;

2 for they call themselves after the holy city and rely on the God of Israel, Yahweh Sabaoth is his name.

3 Things now past I revealed long ago, they issued from my mouth, I proclaimed them; suddenly I acted and they happened.

4 For I knew you to be obstinate, your neck an iron sinew and your forehead bronze.

5 As I told you about it long before, before it happened I revealed it to you, so that you could not say, ‘My statue did it, my idol, my metal image, ordained this.’

6 You have heard and seen all this, why won’t you admit it? Now I am going to reveal new things to you, secrets that you do not know;

7 they have just been created, not long ago, and until today you have heard nothing about them, so that you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew about this.’

8 No, you have not heard, you have not known, for a long time your ear has not been attentive, for I knew how treacherous you were; you have been called a rebel since the womb.

9 For the sake of my name I shall defer my anger, for the sake of my honour I shall be patient with you, rather than destroy you.

10 Look, I have purchased you, but not for silver, I have chosen you out of the cauldron of affliction.

11 For my sake and my sake only shall I act, for why should my name be profaned? I will not yield my glory to another.

12 Listen to me, Jacob, Israel whom I have called: I, and none else, am the first, I am also the last.

13 My hand laid the foundations of earth and my right hand spread out the heavens. I summon them and they all present themselves together.

14 Assemble, all of you, and listen; which of them has revealed this? Yahweh loves him; he will do his pleasure on Babylon and the race of the Chaldaeans;

15 I, I have spoken, yes, I have summoned him, I have brought him, and he will succeed.

16 Come near and listen to this: from the first, I never spoke obscurely; when it happened, I was there, and now Lord Yahweh has sent me with his spirit.

17 Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Yahweh your God and teach you for your own good, I lead you in the way you ought to go.

18 If only you had listened to my commandments! Your prosperity would have been like a river and your saving justice like the waves of the sea.

19 Your descendants would have been numbered like the sand, your offspring as many as its grains. Their name would never be cancelled or blotted out from my presence.

20 Come out from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldaeans! Declare this with cries of joy, proclaim it, carry it to the remotest parts of earth, say, ‘Yahweh has redeemed his servant Jacob.’

21 Those he led through the arid country never went thirsty; he made water flow for them from the rock, he split the rock and out streamed the water.

22 There is no peace, says Yahweh, for the wicked.

Ezekiel 8

1 In the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, I was sitting at home and the elders of Judah were sitting with me, when suddenly the hand of the Lord Yahweh fell on me there.

2 I looked, and there was a form with the appearance of a human being. Downwards from what seemed to be the waist there was fire; and upwards from the waist there was a brilliance like the glitter of amber.

3 Something like a hand was stretched out and it took me by a lock of my hair; and the spirit lifted me between heaven and earth and, in visions from God, took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the inner north gate, where stands the idol that provokes jealously. 

4 There was the glory of the God of Israel; it looked like what I had seen in the valley.

5 He said, ‘Son of man, raise your eyes to the north.’ I raised my eyes to the north, and there, to the north of the altar gate, stood this statue of jealousy at the entrance.

6 He said, ‘Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the monstrous, loathsome things that the House of Israel is practising here, to drive me out of my sanctuary? And you will see practices more loathsome still.’

7 He next took me to the entrance to the court. I looked; there was a hole in the wall.

8 He said, ‘Son of man, bore through the wall.’ I bored through the wall, until I had made an opening.

9 He said, ‘Go in and look at the loathsome things they are doing inside.’

10 I went in and looked and there was every kind of reptile and repulsive animal, and all the foul idols of the House of Israel, carved all round the walls.

11 Seventy elders of the House of Israel were worshipping the idols — among them Jaazaniah son of Shaphan — each one with his censer in his hand, from which rose a fragrant cloud of incense.

12 He said, ‘Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the House of Israel do in the dark, each in his personal image-shrine? They say, “Yahweh cannot see us; Yahweh has abandoned the country.” ‘

13 He said, ‘You will see them at practices more loathsome still.’

14 He next took me to the entrance of the north gate of the Temple of Yahweh where women were sitting, weeping for Tammuz.

15 He said, ‘Son of man, do you see that? You will see even more loathsome things than that.’

16 He then led me to the inner court of the Temple of Yahweh. And there, at the entrance to Yahweh’s sanctuary, between the portico and the altar, there were about twenty-five men, with their backs to Yahweh’s sanctuary and their faces turned towards the east, before the rising sun.

17 He said to me, ‘Son of man, do you see that? Is it not bad enough for the House of Judah to be doing the loathsome things they are doing here? But they fill the country with violence and provoke my anger further; look at them now putting that branch to their nostrils.

18 And so I shall react in fury; I shall show neither pity nor mercy. They may cry as loudly as they like to me; I will not listen.’

Ezekiel 9

1 Then he shouted loudly for me to hear, ‘The scourges of the city are approaching, each carrying his weapon of destruction!’

2 Immediately six men advanced from the upper north gate, each holding a deadly weapon. Among them was a man dressed in linen, with a scribe’s ink-horn in his belt. They came in and halted in front of the bronze altar.

3 The glory of the God of Israel rose from above the winged creature where it had been, towards the threshold of the Temple. He called to the man dressed in linen with a scribe’s ink-horn in his belt

4 and Yahweh said to him, ‘Go all through the city, all through Jerusalem, and mark a cross on the foreheads of all who grieve and lament over all the loathsome practices in it.’

5 I heard him say to the others, ‘Follow him through the city and strike. Not one glance of pity; show no mercy;

6 old men, young men, girls, children, women, kill and exterminate them all. But do not touch anyone with a cross on his forehead. Begin at my sanctuary.’ So they began with the old men who were in the Temple.

7 He said to them, ‘Defile the Temple; fill the courts with corpses; then go out!’ They went out and hacked their way through the city.

8 While they were hacking them down, I was left alone; I fell on my face, crying out, ‘Ah, Lord Yahweh, are you going to annihilate all that is left of Israel by venting your fury on Jerusalem?’

9 He said, ‘The guilt of the House of Israel and Judah is immense; the country is full of bloodshed, the city full of perversity, for they say, “Yahweh has abandoned the country, Yahweh cannot see.”

10 Then, I too shall neither give one glance of pity nor show any mercy. I shall repay them for what they have done.’

11 The man dressed in linen with the scribe’s ink-horn in his belt then came back and made his report, ‘I have carried out your orders.’

Proverbs 12:13-16

13 In the sin of the lips lies a disastrous trap, but the upright finds a way out of misfortune.

14 Abundance of good things is the fruit of the lips; labour brings its own return.

15 Fools think the way they go is straight, the wise listens to advice.

16 The fool shows anger straightaway, the discreet conceals dislike.

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