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

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Special Relationship: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 5 with poem by Margaret Sackville, To One Who Denies the Possibility of a Permanent Peace

Daily Readings
Psalm 76, Joshua 24, Ezekiel 5, James 4

Daily Text: Ezekiel 5

The Special Relationship
Jerusalem is the navel of the universe by the hand of God, but there is no reason to celebrate, for God has decreed its destruction. 587 B.C. is the date of the final defeat and exile of the population. The house of Israel has become more rebellious than the surrounding nations and her punishment will be correspondingly severe. Vss. 5-17 are the explanation offered for the signs enacted by Ezekiel. The city will be under siege, will endure famine to the extent that cannibalism will occur. One third will die from that siege, another third by the sword and the final third will be scattered across the earth.
At issue in Ezekiel 5 is the special relationship Israel has enjoyed with YHWH. She has prided herself and rested on it without honoring it. God has expected her to share with the nations. That is the responsibility that accompanies the gift. She has ignored that responsibility to her peril. The Church will likewise do so. (Cf. 503:91)

To One Who Denies the Possibility
Of a Permanent Peace
Margaret Sackville

Old friend, I greet you! you are still the same:
You poisoned Socrates, you crucified
Christ, you have persecuted, mocked, denied,
Rejected God and cursed Him—in God’s name.
You gave monotonously to the flame
All those (whom now you honor) when the new
Truth stung their lips—for fear it might be true;
Then reaped where they ahd sown and felt no shame.
Familiar voice, old adversary—hail!
Yesterday’s fools are now your gods. Behold!
The generations pass and we can wait.
You slandered Shelley, Florence Nightingale;
Now a new splendor quivers in the cold
Gray shadows overhead; still you are late.

Collect for the Day
Judge eternal, love is the government of your holy city and the indictment of the proud. We give thanks for the great salvation you have revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord. [476:804:76 Psalm prayer]


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