Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The End Has Come: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 7 with poem by John Oxenham, Dies Irae--Dies Pacis

Daily Readings
Psalm 80, Judges 2:6-3:6, Ezekiel 7, Tobit 1

Daily Text: Ezekiel 7

The End Has Come
Eichrodt (503) asserts that this poem, which has many lost elements, is still one of great beauty and power. The theme, ‘The End Has Come,’ is introduced in Ezekiel 7 in two short stanzas 1-4 and 5-9 each ending with a statement that out of judgement will come knowledge that the Lord has acted. One final longer stanza incorporates five elements. The failure of dependence upon commerce, 12-13, the military, 14-18, and wealth, 19-21 are three of them. As a result even the temple, the treasured place of God, will be profaned, 22-25, and finally, the leadership ordained by God will also fail utterly, 26-27.

The end has come not only for Israel, however, but it has been meted out on the whole earth. Israel is not treated any differently from any other nation. She no longer has a special place in the economy of God and she has brought this great disaster upon herself by her own abominations. In the end she shall know that ‘I am the Lord.’ What a tragic way to discover who rules Israel and the world!

Dies Irae—Dies Pacis
John Oxenham

“Only through Me!”….The clear, high call comes pealing,
Above the thunders of the battle-plain;--
“Only through Me can Life’s red wounds find healing;
Only through Me shall Earth have peace again.

“Only through me!….Love’s Might, all might transcending,
Alone can draw the poison-fangs of Hate.
Yours the beginning!—Mine a nobler ending,--
Peace upon Earth, and Man regenerate!

“Only through Me can come the great awaking;
Wrong cannot right the wrongs that Wrong hath done;
Only through Me, all other gods forsaking,
Can ye attain the heights that must be won.

“Only through Me shall Victory be sounded;
Only through Me can Right wield righteous sword;
Only through Me shall Peace be surely founded;
Only through Me….Then bid Me to the Board!”

Can we not rise to such great height of glory?
Shall this vast sorrow spend itself in vain?
Shall future ages tell the woeful story,--
“Christ by His own was crucified again”?

Collect for the Day
Glory to you, Lord Jesus Christ, our good shepherd; you have led us to the kingdom of your Father’s love. Forgive our careless indifference to your loving care for all your creatures, and remake us in the likeness of your new and risen life. We ask this in your name. [476:814:80 Psalm prayer]


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