A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, August 20, 2004

Our hope is lost

We are dried up all the way to the bone. We are cut off.

These are expressions of depression and despair from today’s first reading. These were the feelings of people in ancient Israel.

Sometimes we can feel that way too. We can feel like the prophet Ezekiel: alone in a great empty place that is devoid of life, with only dry and scattered bones around us.

There is a voice, “Can these bones come to life?” Is there a way out? A way back to life? Ezekiel himself cannot see an answer, but he trusts in the Lord, “Lord God, you alone know that.”

Hear the word of the Lord.

As we hear this reading, we may be reminded of the famous Spiritual based on it, which sings of the dry bones connecting together. But we should take more away from this reading than just a catchy tune.

Hear the word of the Lord.

Even when we feel lifeless and alone, God is there with us – all we have to do is listen, really listen for his voice: a voice that brings life.

Hear the word of the Lord.

Perhaps Ezekiel felt a little funny talking to bones, but he spoke aloud the message that God had given him and it had an effect. So too we are commanded to speak the word of the Lord aloud, even when we see no one to hear it or we think it will have no effect. The word of God always accomplishes the purpose for which God sends it forth and we are the ones through whom it is to be sent.

Hear the word of the Lord.

We should not be afraid of speaking the word of the Lord to others. Nor should we be afraid of speaking the word of the Lord aloud when we are alone. Especially if we feel totally alone in a very lifeless place, reading the word of God aloud can do wonderful things, if we let it.

O my people!
I will put my spirit in you
that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised,
and I will do it,
says the LORD.

Hear the word of the Lord.