Daily Readings Reflection for 8/21/10

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Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary # 424. Ezekiel 43:1-7. Psalm 85:9-10.11-12.13-14.
Matthew 23:1-12.

We experience the “last hurrah” of Ezekiel with the vision he has of the
glory of the Lord in the Temple in Jerusalem.  His prophetic career began
with a vision of God’s immanent glory in the Temple and now as he nears the
end of his prophetic message he returns to the holy city and the Temple,
one of the great wonders of the world in its architecture and beauty. We
sense the emotion and ecstasy of Ezekiel as he shares this mystical
experience with us.  He is a prophetic and unique witness to the Divine
Glory of God.  God had come in a chariot like vision–the Merkabah–when he
had his call.  That experience is felt again by the prophet known and
called a “son of man” that is, a child of humanity.

Twice before then he has this vision and now it is at the culmination of
his prophecies as he nears the end of the written scroll attributed to him
a priest of the Temple. This experience will remain among God’s people, the
Israelites as they develop in mysticism.  One of the commentators of the
Book of Ezekiel tells us, “Rabbis remarked that the word vision is repeated
nine times (where the plural occurs it is counted as two), and it intimates
that except for Moses who was privileged to see the vision clearly, all
other prophets, including Ezekiel, were allowed to behold it only after it
had undergone a process of nine fold obscuration. In allusion to this
rabbinic teaching, the liturgist of the second day of Tabernacles wrote,
“They behold the Divine Glory on his throne in visions through nine shining
visions”, that is, unobscured.”  (Soncino Commentary, p. 293).
The very last sentence in Ezekiel (48:35) is connected with this Divine
Presence: “And the name of the city from that day shall be THE LORD IS
THERE.”

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