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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read how the Lord wants to bring his people back to him. Ezekiel creates a metaphor with two women named Oholah. They come from Egypt and are the harlot from Assyria. God’s people are his and he is protective of them. Later Ezekiel’s wife dies. The Lord will not allow him to mourn and people wonder why. Here Ezekiel is drawing a parallel to the loss of the Temple. It will be destroyed and people will not mourn the destruction as if they didn’t care.

How often are we indifferent to the blasphemy we see? How indifferent are we to those who walk away from the Lord?

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 65

1 I have let myself be approached by those who did not consult me, I have let myself be found by those who did not seek me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not invoke my name.

2 Each day I stretched out my hands to a rebellious people who follow a way which is not good, as the fancy takes them;

3 a people constantly provoking me to my face by sacrificing in gardens, burning incense on bricks,

4 living in tombs, spending the night in dark corners, eating the meat of pigs, putting unclean foods on their plates.

5 ‘Keep your distance,’ they say, ‘do not touch me, lest my sanctity come near you!’ Such words are like stifling smoke to me, an ever-burning fire.

6 Look, it is inscribed before me: I shall not be silent until I have repaid them, repaid them in full,

7 punished your guilt and your ancestors’ guilt together, Yahweh declares. For having burnt incense on the mountains and insulted me on the hills, I shall pay them back in full for what they have done.

8 Yahweh says this: As when a bunch of grapes is found still to have juice in it, people say, ‘Do not destroy it, for it contains a blessing,’ so I shall act for my servants’ sake, I shall not destroy them all.

9 I shall produce descendants from Jacob and heirs to my mountains from Judah, my chosen ones will own them and my servants willlive there.

10 Sharon will be a pasture for flocks, the Valley of Achor a feeding ground for cattle, for those of my people who have sought me.

11 But as for those of you who abandon Yahweh, who forget my holy mountain, who lay the table for Gad, who fill cups of mixed wine for Meni,

12 you I shall destine to the sword and all of you will stoop to be slaughtered, because I called and you would not answer, I spoke and you would not listen; you have done what I consider evil, you chose to do what displeases me.

13 Therefore Lord Yahweh says this: You will see my servants eating while you go hungry; you will see my servants drinking while you go thirsty; you will see my servants rejoicing while you are put to shame;

14 you will hear my servants shouting for joy of heart, while you shriek for sorrow of heart and howl with a broken spirit.

15 And you will leave your name behind as a curse for my chosen ones, ‘May Lord Yahweh strike you dead!’ But to his servants he willgive another name.

16 Whoever blesses himself on earth will bless himself by the God of truth, and whoever swears an oath on earth will swear by the Godof truth, for past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.

17 For look, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered and will come no more to mind.

18 Rather be joyful, be glad for ever at what I am creating, for look, I am creating Jerusalem to be ‘Joy’ and my people to be ‘Gladness’.

19 I shall be joyful in Jerusalem and I shall rejoice in my people. No more will the sound of weeping be heard there, nor the sound of a shriek;

20 never again will there be an infant there who lives only a few days, nor an old man who does not run his full course; for the youngest will die at a hundred, and at a hundred the sinner will be accursed.

21 They will build houses and live in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22 They will not build for others to live in, or plant for others to eat; for the days of my people will be like the days of a tree, and my chosen ones will themselves use what they have made.

23 They will not toil in vain, nor bear children destined to disaster, for they are the race of Yahweh’s blessed ones and so are their offspring.

24 Thus, before they call I shall answer, before they stop speaking I shall have heard.

25 The wolf and the young lamb will feed together, the lion will eat hay like the ox, and dust be the serpent’s food. No hurt, no harm willbe done on all my holy mountain, Yahweh says.

Ezekiel 23

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

2 ‘Son of man, there were once two women, daughters of the same mother.

3 They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore when they were still girls. There their nipples were handled, there their virgin breasts were first fondled.

4 Their names were: Oholah the elder, Oholibah her sister. They belonged to me and bore sons and daughters. As regards their names, Samaria is Oholah, Jerusalem Oholibah.

5 Now Oholah played the whore, although she belonged to me; she lusted after her lovers, her neighbours the Assyrians,

6 dressed in purple, governors and magistrates, all of them young and desirable, and skilful horsemen.

7 She played the whore with all of them, the pick of Assyria, and defiled herself with all the foul idols of all those with whom she was in love,

8 nor did she give up the whoring begun in Egypt, where men had slept with her from her girlhood, fondling her virgin breasts, debauching her over and over again.

9 ‘That is why I have handed her over to her lovers, to the Assyrians with whom she was in love.

10 They stripped her naked, seized her sons and daughters and put her to the sword. She became notorious among women for the justice done on her.

11 ‘Her sister Oholibah saw all this, but she was even more depraved, and her whorings were worse than her sister’s.

12 She fell in love with her neighbours the Assyrians, governors and magistrates, dressed in sumptuous clothes, skilful horsemen, all young and desirable.

13 Then I saw that she had defiled herself, that both sisters were equally bad.

14 She began whoring worse than ever; no sooner had she seen wall-carvings of men, pictures of Chaldaeans coloured vermilion,

15 men with sashes round their waists and elaborate turbans on their heads, all so lordly of bearing, depicting the Babylonians, natives of Chaldaea,

16 than she fell in love with them at first sight and sent messengers to them in Chaldaea.

17 The Babylonians came to her, shared her love-bed and defiled her with their whoring. Once defiled by them, she withdrew her affection from them.

18 Thus she flaunted her whoring, exposing her body, until I withdrew my affection from her as I had withdrawn it from her sister.

19 But she began whoring worse than ever, remembering her girlhood, when she had played the whore in Egypt,

20 when she had been in love with their profligates, big-membered as donkeys, ejaculating as violently as stallions.

21 ‘You were hankering for the debauchery of your girlhood, when they used to handle your nipples in Egypt and fondle your young breasts.

22 And so, Oholibah, Lord Yahweh says this, “I shall set all your lovers against you, from whom you have withdrawn your affection, and bring them to assault you from all directions:

23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldaeans, the men of Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, young and desirable, all governors and magistrates, all famous lords and skilful horsemen.

24 From the north, they will advance on you with chariots and wagons and an international army and beset you with shield, buckler and helmet on all sides. I shall charge them to pass sentence on you and they will pass sentence on you as they think fit.

25 I shall direct my jealousy against you; they will treat you with fury; they will cut off your nose and ears, and what is left of your familywill fall by the sword; they will seize your sons and daughters, and what is left will be burnt.

26 They will strip off your garments and rob you of your jewels.

27 I shall put an end to your debauchery and to the whorings you began in Egypt; you will not look to the Egyptians any more, you willnever think of them again.

28 For the Lord Yahweh says this: Now, I shall hand you over to those you hate, to those for whom you no longer feel affection.

29 They will treat you with hatred, they will rob you of the entire fruit of your labours and leave you stark naked. And thus your shameful whorings will be exposed, your debauchery and your whorings.

30 This will happen to you because you have played the whore with the nations and have defiled yourself with their foul idols.

31 Since you have copied your sister’s behaviour, I shall put her cup in your hand.”

32 The Lord Yahweh says this: You will drink your sister’s cup, a cup both deep and wide, leading to laughter and mockery, so ample the draught it holds.

33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow. Cup of affliction and devastation, the cup of your sister Samaria,

34 you will drink it, you will drain it; then you will break it in pieces and lacerate your own breasts. For I have spoken — declared the LordYahweh.

35 “And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have forgotten me and have turned your back on me, you too will have to bear the weight of your debauchery and whorings.” ‘

36 And Yahweh said to me, ‘Son of man, are you ready to judge Oholah and Oholibah and charge them with their loathsome practices?

37 They have been adulteresses, their hands are dripping with blood, they have committed adultery with their foul idols. As for the children they had borne me, they have offered them as burnt sacrifices to feed them.

38 And here is something else they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary today and have profaned my Sabbaths.

39 The same day as sacrificing their children to their idols, they have been to my sanctuary and profaned it. Yes, this is what they have done in my own house.

40 ‘Worse still, they summoned men from far away, invited by messenger, and they came. For them you bathed, you painted your eyes, put on your jewels

41 and sat on a sumptuous bed, by which a table was laid out. On this you had put my incense and my oil.

42 The noise of the carefree company resounded, made by the crowd of men brought in from the desert; they put bracelets on the women’s arms and magnificent crowns on their heads.

43 I thought, “That woman, worn out with adultery! Are they going to fornicate with her too?”

44 Yet they visit her like any common prostitute, just as they visited those profligate women Oholah and Oholibah.

45 All the same, there are upright men who will judge them as adulteresses and murderesses are judged, since they are adulteresses and their hands are dripping with blood.”

46 ‘The Lord Yahweh says this, “Summon an assembly to deal with them, and hand them over to terror and pillage;

47 let the assembly stone them and dispatch them with their swords; let their sons and daughters be slaughtered and their houses set on fire.

48 This is how I shall purge the country of debauchery, so that all women will be taught the lesson never to ape your debauchery again.

49 Your debauchery will recoil on yourselves, and you will bear the weight of the sins committed with your foul idols and you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

Ezekiel 24

1 In the ninth year, on the tenth day of the tenth month, the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

2 ‘Son of man, write down today’s date, yes, today’s, for this very day the king of Babylon began his attack on Jerusalem.

3 So pronounce a parable for this tribe of rebels. Say, “The Lord Yahweh says this: Put the pot on the fire; put it on; pour the water in!

4 Now put the cuts of meat all in together, all the best cuts, leg and shoulder. Fill it with the best bones.

5 Take the best of the flock, then heap wood underneath; boil it thoroughly until even the bones are cooked.

6 “For the Lord Yahweh says this: Disaster is in store for the bloody city, for that rusty cooking pot whose rust will not come off! Empty it, bit by bit, not bothering to draw lots;

7 for she is still full of bloodshed, she has put blood on the naked rock; she did not pour it on the ground so as to cover it with dust.

8 To make anger rise, to exact vengeance, I have put her blood on the naked rock, so that it should not be covered:

9 “So, the Lord Yahweh says this: Disaster is in store for the bloody city! I too plan to build a great fire.

10 Heap on the wood, light it, cook the meat, prepare the seasoning let the bones burn!

11 Put the empty pot on the coals to make it hot, until the bronze glows, the filth inside melts and the rust is burnt away!

12 “But all that rust would not come off in the fire.

13 Your filth is infamous. Since I have tried to purge you and you would not let yourself be purged of your filth, so now you will never be purged of your filth until I have sated my anger on you.

14 I, Yahweh, have spoken; this will happen; I shall act and not relent; I shall show no pity, no compassion. You will be judged as your conduct and actions deserve — declares the Lord Yahweh.” ‘

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

16 ‘Son of man, at a blow I am about to deprive you of the delight of your eyes. But you are not to lament, not to weep, not to let your tears run down.

17 Groan in silence, do not go into mourning for the dead, knot your turban round your head, put your sandals on your feet, do not cover your beard, do not eat the usual food.’

18 I told this to the people in the morning, and my wife died in the evening, and the next morning I did as I had been ordered.

19 The people then said to me, ‘Will you not explain what meaning these actions have for us?’

20 I replied, ‘The word of Yahweh has been addressed to me as follows,

21 “Say to the House of Israel, the Lord Yahweh says this: I am about to profane my sanctuary, the pride of your strength, the delight of your eyes, the joy of your hearts. Your sons and daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword.

22 Then you will do as I have done: you will not cover your beards or eat the usual food;

23 you will keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet; you will not lament or weep but will waste away for your crimes, groaning among yourselves.

24 Thus Ezekiel is a sign for you. You will do exactly what he has done. And when this happens, you will know that I am Lord Yahweh!”

25 ‘And, son of man, the day that I deprive them of their strength, their crowning joy, the delight of their eyes, the joy of their hearts, their sons and daughters,

26 that day a survivor will bring you the news.

27 That day your mouth will be opened to speak to the survivor; you will speak and no longer be dumb; you will be a sign for them, and they will know that I am Yahweh.’

Proverbs 13:21-25

21 Evil will pursue the sinner, but good will reward the upright.

22 The good bequeaths a heritage to children’s children, the wealth of the sinner is stored away for the upright.

23 Though the farms of the poor yield much food, some perish for lack of justice.

24 Whoever fails to use the stick hates his child; whoever is free with correction loves him.

25 The upright eats to the full, the belly of the wicked goes empty.

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