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Thoughts and reflection

Today we read in proverbs that those who walk with wise men become wise and those who have companions of fools will suffer harm. We will become wise when we associate with wise people and holy when we are around holy people. If we surround ourselves with people who are indifferent to God and/or the plight of those around us, then we are indifferent as well.

Ezekiel describes the sins of Jerusalem, including treating one’s neighbor unjustly, not caring for the poor, violating the Sabbath, and not treating holy things holy. While religion includes worship of God, we also must care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and all those who need help. In chapter 22, the Lord says he is looking for someone that will intercede for the people, but no one will do so.

Do we intercede for those we love and for those who have asked us to pray for them?

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 63

1 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah in crimson garments, so magnificently dressed, marching so full of strength? – It is I, whose word is saving justice, whose power is to save.

2 -Why are your garments red, your clothes like someone treading the winepress?

3 -I have trodden the winepress alone; of my people, not one was with me. So I trod them down in my anger, I trampled on them in my wrath. Their blood squirted over my garments and all my clothes are stained.

4 For I have decided on a day of vengeance, my year of retribution has come.

5 I looked: there was no one to help me; I was appalled but could find no supporter! Then my own arm came to my rescue and my own fury supported me.

6 I crushed the peoples in my anger, I shattered them in my fury and sent their blood streaming to the ground.

7 I shall recount Yahweh’s acts of faithful love, Yahweh’s praises, in return for all that Yahweh has done for us, for his great kindness to the House of Israel, for all that he has done in his mercy, for the abundance of his acts of faithful love.

8 For he said, ‘Truly they are my people, children who will not betray me,’ and he became their Saviour.

9 In all their troubles, it was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them. In his love and pity he himself redeemed them, lifted them up and carried them throughout the days of old.

10 But they rebelled and vexed his holy Spirit. Then he became their enemy and himself waged war on them.

11 But he called the past to mind, Moses his servant. Where is he who saved them from the sea, the Shepherd of his flock? Where was he who put his holy Spirit among them,

12 whose glorious arm led the way by Moses’ right hand? Who divided the waters before them to win himself everlasting renown,

13 who led them through the depths as easily as a horse through the desert? They stumbled as little

14 as cattle going down to the plain. Yahweh’s Spirit led them to rest. This was how you guided your people to win yourself glorious renown.

15 Look down from heaven and see from your holy and glorious dwelling. Where is your zeal and your might? Are your deepest feelings, your mercy to me, to be restrained?

16 After all, you are our Father. If Abraham will not own us, if Israel will not acknowledge us, you, Yahweh, are our Father, ‘Our Redeemer’ is your name from of old.

17 Why, Yahweh, do you let us wander from your ways and let our hearts grow too hard to fear you? Return, for the sake of your servants, the tribes of your heritage.

18 Your holy people have owned it for so short a time, our enemies have trampled on your sanctuary.

19 We have long been like those you do not rule, people who do not bear your name. Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down — in your presence the mountains would quake,

Isaiah 64

1 as fire sets brushwood alight, as fire makes water boil — to make your name known to your foes; the nations would tremble at your presence,

2 at the unexpected miracles you would do. (Oh, that you would come down, in your presence the mountains would quake!)

3 Never has anyone heard, no ear has heard, no eye has seen any god but you act like this for the sake of those who trust him.

4 You come to meet those who are happy to act uprightly; keeping your ways reminds them of you. Yes, you have been angry and we have been sinners; now we persist in your ways and we shall be saved.

5 We have all been like unclean things and our upright deeds like filthy rags. We wither, all of us, like leaves, and all our misdeeds carry us off like the wind.

6 There is no one to invoke your name, to rouse himself to hold fast to you, for you have hidden your face from us and given us up to the power of our misdeeds.

7 And yet, Yahweh, you are our Father; we the clay and you our potter, all of us are the work of your hands.

8 Yahweh, do not let your anger go too far and do not remember guilt for ever. Look, please, we are all your people;

9 your holy cities have become a desert, Zion has become a desert, Jerusalem a wasteland.

10 Our holy and glorious Temple, in which our ancestors used to praise you, has been burnt to the ground; all our delight lies in ruins.

11 Yahweh, can you restrain yourself at all this? Will you stay silent and afflict us beyond endurance?

Ezekiel 21

1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

2 ‘Son of man, turn to the right; utter your word towards the south, prophesy against the forest land of the Negeb.

3 Say to the forest of Negeb, “Hear the word of Yahweh! The Lord Yahweh says this: Listen; I am about to kindle a fire in you which willburn up every green tree in you as well as every dry one; it will be an unquenchable blaze and every face will be scorched by it from the Negeb to the north.

4 All humanity will see that it was I, Yahweh, who kindled it, and it will not be extinguished.” ‘

5 I said, ‘Lord Yahweh, they say of me, “He does nothing but speak in riddles!”‘

6 Then the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

7 ‘Son of man, turn towards Jerusalem, utter your word towards the sanctuary and prophesy against the land of Israel.

8 Say to the land of Israel, “Yahweh says this: Now I am against you; I am about to unsheathe my sword and rid you of the upright and the wicked alike.

9 Since I am going to rid you of upright and wicked alike, I shall unsheathe my sword against everyone alive, from the Negeb to the north,

10 so that everyone alive will know that I, Yahweh, am the one who has unsheathed my sword; it will not go back again.”

11 ‘Son of man, groan as though your heart were breaking. Utter your bitter groans where they can see you.

12 And if they say, “Why these groans?” reply, “Because of the news which is about to come, all hearts will sink, all hands grow weak, all spirits grow faint and all knees turn to water. It is coming now, it is here!-declares Lord Yahweh.” ‘

13 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

14 ‘Son of man, prophesy. Say, “The Lord says this. Say: The sword, the sword has been sharpened and polished,

15 sharpened for slaughter, polished to flash like lightning . . .

16 He has had it polished to be wielded, this sword sharpened and polished to put in the slaughterer’s hand!

17 Shout and wail, son of man, for it will come on my people, on all the chief men of Israel doomed like my people to the sword! So beat your breast,

18 for this will be an ordeal . . . declares the Lord Yahweh.

19 So prophesy, son of man, and clap your hands! Let the sword pass three times, that sword for victims, that sword for a great victim, threatening them from every side!

20 To make hearts sink and make sure many fall, I have posted the slaughtering sword at every gate to flash like lightning, polished for slaughter.

21 Be sharp, on the right, be ready on the left, whichever way your blade is needed!

22 I too shall clap my hands and sate my fury! I, Yahweh, have spoken.” ‘

23 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

24 ‘Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the king of Babylon to come along, making both of them begin from the same country. Then put up a signpost, put it where the road leaves for the city,

25 trace the route which the sword should take for Rabbah-of-the-Ammonites, and for Judah, to the fortress of Jerusalem.

26 For the king of Babylon has halted at the fork where these two roads diverge, to take the omens. He has shaken the arrows, questioned the household gods, inspected the liver.

27 The lot marked ‘Jerusalem’ is in his right hand: there to set up battering-rams, give the word for slaughter, raise the war cry, level battering-rams against the gates, cast up earthworks, build entrenchments.

28 The inhabitants will believe that these omens are idle, for they have received sworn guarantees, but he will bring their guilt to mindand capture them.

29 And so the Lord Yahweh says this, “Since you have brought your guilt to mind by parading your misdeeds and flaunting your sins in everything you do: because you have drawn attention to yourselves, you will be captured.

30 As for you, impious and wicked prince of Israel, whose doom is approaching to put an end to your crimes,

31 the Lord Yahweh says this: They will take away your diadem and remove your crown. Everything will be changed; the low will be raised and the high brought low!

32 Ruin, ruin, I shall bring such ruin as never was before, until the rightful ruler comes, on whom I shall bestow it.”

33 ‘Son of man, prophesy and say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: In reply to the Ammonites and their jeers, say: The sword, the sword is drawn for slaughter, polished to devour, to flash like lightning-

34 while you have empty visions and consult lying omens-to cut the throats of the wicked, whose doom is approaching to put an end to their crimes.

35 Put it back in the scabbard. The place where you were created, the land of your origin, will be where I judge you.

36 I shall vent my fury on you, breathe the fire of my rage against you and hand you over to barbarous men whose trade is destruction.

37 You will be fuel for the fire, your blood will flow through the country, you will leave no memory behind you; for I, Yahweh, have spoken!” ‘

Ezekiel 22

1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

2 ‘Son of man, are you ready to judge? Are you ready to judge the blood-stained city? Confront her with all her loathsome practices!

3 Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: City shedding blood inside yourself to hasten your doom, making foul idols on your soil to defile yourself,

4 you have incurred guilt by the blood you have shed, you have defiled yourself with the foul idols you have made, you have shortened your days, you have come to the end of your years. This is why I have made you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughing-stock to every country.

5 From far and near they will taunt you with your infamous disorders.

6 “Look! In you the princes of Israel, one and all, have furthered their own interests at the cost of bloodshed;

7 in you people have despised their fathers and mothers; in you they have ill-treated the settler; in you they have oppressed the widowand orphan.

8 You have treated my sanctuary with contempt, you have profaned my Sabbaths.

9 In you informers incite to bloodshed; in you people eat on the mountains and act licentiously;

10 in you they have sexual intercourse with their fathers; in you they force themselves on women in their periods;

11 in you one man engages in loathsome practices with his neighbour’s wife, another lewdly defiles his daughter-in-law, another violates his sister, his own father’s daughter.

12 In you people take bribes for shedding blood; you lend for profit and charge interest, you profit from your fellow by extortion and have forgotten about me — declares the Lord Yahweh.

13 “Now I shall clap my hands at your acts of banditry and the blood that flows in you.

14 Will your heart be able to resist, will your hands be steady, the day when I call you to account? I, Yahweh, have spoken and shall act.

15 I shall scatter you among the nations and disperse you in foreign countries, and so put an end to the filthiness now inside you;

16 through your own fault, you will be profaned in the eyes of the nations, and you will know that I am Yahweh!” ‘

17 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

18 ‘Son of man, for me, the House of Israel has become dross: copper, tin, iron, lead, all mixed up together in the melting-pot; they are dross.

19 And so, Lord Yahweh says this, “Since you have all become dross, right! I shall collect you inside Jerusalem.

20 As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are collected in the melting-pot, and the fire is blown underneath to melt them down, so I shall collect you in my furious anger and have you melted down;

21 I shall collect you and blow up the fire of my rage for you and have you melted down inside the city.

22 As silver is melted in the melting-pot, so you will be melted down inside the city, and you will know that I, Yahweh, have vented my fury on you.” ‘

23 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

24 ‘Son of man, say to her, “You are a land that has not received rain or shower on the day of anger.

25 In you, the princes are like a roaring lion tearing its prey. They have eaten the people, seized wealth and jewels and widowed many inside her.

26 Her priests have violated my law and desecrated my sanctuary; they have made no distinction between sacred and profane, they have not taught people the difference between clean and unclean; they have turned their eyes away from my Sabbaths and I have been dishonoured by them.

27 In her the leaders are wolves tearing their prey, shedding blood and killing people to steal their possessions.

28 Her prophets have plastered these things over with their empty visions and lying prophecies, saying: Yahweh says this, although Yahweh has not spoken.

29 The people of the country have taken to extortion and banditry; they have oppressed the poor and needy and ill-treated the settler in a way that is unjustifiable.

30 I have been looking for someone among them to build a barricade and oppose me in the breach, to defend the country and prevent me from destroying it; but I have found no one.

31 Hence I have vented my fury on them; I have put an end to them in the fire of my rage. I have made their conduct recoil on their own heads — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

Proverbs 13:17-20

17 A bad messenger falls into misfortune, a trusty messenger brings healing.

18 Whoever rejects discipline wins poverty and scorn; for anyone who accepts correction: honour.

19 Desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul; fools are loth to turn — from evil.

20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, whoever mixes with fools will be ruined.

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