But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  The readings these past few days have been challenging reads to say the least.  The readings from Ezekiel have been especially challenging, showing a side of God that at first blush scares the heck out of me.  But I must remain faithful to the understanding that God does not do anything out of spite or anger – or maybe I should say how we define spite or anger.  Our God is a just God and will His anger is a righteous anger.  So as you reflect on today’s readings, think long and hard about how God inflicts His punishments justly.

Spend some time reflecting our our Responsorial Psalms the past few days…

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

R. (see 18a) You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you.
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
and anger toward his sons and daughters.
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“I will hide my face from them,” he said,
“and see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
sons with no loyalty in them!”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.
“Since they have provoked me with their ‘no-god’
and angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a ‘no-people’;
with a foolish nation I will anger them.”
R. You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

R. (39c) It is I who deal death and give life.
“I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them
and blot out their name from men’s memories,’
Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies,
feared that these foes would mistakenly boast.”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“‘Our own hand won the victory;
the LORD had nothing to do with it.'”
For they are a people devoid of reason,
having no understanding.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
“How could one man rout a thousand,
or two men put ten thousand to flight,
Unless it was because their Rock sold them
and the LORD delivered them up?”
R. It is I who deal death and give life.
Close at hand is the day of their disaster,
and their doom is rushing upon them!
Surely, the LORD shall do justice for his people;
on his servants he shall have pity.
R. It is I who deal death and give life.

R. (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
A clean heart create for me, O God;
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners shall return to you.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. Create a clean heart in me, O God.

There is a lot to reflect on in those Psalms.  We are reminded of fact that God is the source of all life, in Him is fullness of redemption.  Only He can give life and only He can deal death.  We should all pray for that clean heart that God desires in all of us.

Do something great for our Lord today – let Him be the judge, jury and advocate.  Pray for your enemies as much as you give thanks for your friends.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

 

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