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.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tyrian Demise: Bible Comment on Ezekiel 26 with poem by William Wordsworth, On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic

Daily Readings
Ecclesiastes 11 Ruth 1 Ezekiel 26 John 5

Daily Text: Ezekiel 26

Tyrian Demise
Unlike the nations in the preceding chapter, Ezekiel 26 speaks of Tyre, a city-state with major standing in the civilized world. Known for her Tyrian purple, and her merchant ships that navigate the known seas, Tyre is both a symbol of hope and despair for Jerusalem. Hope because Tyre too wants Babylonia stopped and is working towards that end. Despair, because rather than move to Jerusalem’s aid she celebrates her demise as a competitor. This, in God’s eyes, creates in turn the Tyrian demise. And how far she fell. Her soil built up so carefully over the centuries is to be swept into the sea along with her wealth and her merchandise. Actually, the siege by Nebuchadnezzar, which began soon enough, took 13 years before she fell, according to Josephus [503:378].

On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic
William Wordsworth

1770-1850

Once did She hold the gorgeous east in fee;
And was the safeguard of the west: the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
She was a maiden City, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And, when she took unto herself a Mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reached its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
Of that which once was great is passed away.
506:414

Collect for the Day
O helper of workers,
ruler of all the good,
guard on the ramparts
and defender of the faithful,
who lift up the lowly
and crush the proud,
ruler of the faithful,
enemy of the impenitent,
judge of all judges,
who punish those who err,
pure life of the living,
light and Father of lights
shining with great light,
denying to none of the hopeful
your strength and help,
I beg that me, a little man
trembling and most wretched,
rowing through the infinite storm of this age,
Christ may draw after him to the lofty
most beautiful haven of life.
[489:84:April 20 Columba, c.521-97]

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