Aug 22 2020 Reflection
Saturday 22 August 2020
First Reading: EZ 43:1-7AB
The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land.
PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14
Gospel Reading: MT 23:1-12
Today’s Note: Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
The glory of the Lord entered the temple. (Ezekiel 43:4)
Israel was in exile, Jerusalem was in ruins, and the glory of the Lord—his divine presence and protection—had left the Temple. For thirty years the people had been vassals of the Babylonians, cut off from God and weighed down by guilt.
Ezekiel had foreseen all this in an earlier vision (10:1-19). But he also saw something else: “the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east, . . . [and it] entered the temple” (43:2, 4). Just as God’s presence had left the house of the Lord, it would return—and with it came a marvelous promise: “This is where my throne shall be . . . ; here I will dwell . . . forever” (43:7).
The promise in Ezekiel’s vision is not limited to a literal throne in a physical temple on a plot of land. Even as Ezekiel spoke hopefully of the Israelites’ return to Jerusalem, he also pointed to something much greater: the day when the kingdom of God itself would come on earth.
That promise extends through space and time to reach all of us today. Because of Jesus’ cross and resurrection, God’s dwelling place is with his people—wherever they are and whenever they live! His glory dwells in us, both as a body and as individuals (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19).
A few decades after Ezekiel uttered this prophecy, God did indeed return to his Temple. He didn’t abandon his people forever, nor was his heart ever far from them. As the Israelites repented of their sins and began to long for him, he answered them with his presence and blessing.
The same is true for you. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. He will never abandon you. Even if you have sinned in a serious way and fear you have lost the grace of his presence, he is waiting to hear just your first words of repentance. He longs to come in glory into your heart. And his glory—his very life at the core of your life—has the power to purify you from idolatry, adultery, and defilement of every kind.
Oh, ask him in!
“Lord, come into my life today! Forgive me and cleanse me from everything that defiles me.”