Day 211: Called By Name

Isaiah 43:1-13 In both his blessings and his purifying punishment, God was showing his steadfast love for his Chosen People. God revealed himself to be rich in mercy and kindness toward his people.

He who created you...formed you: God created every person out of a profound and infinite love. It is important to keep in mind that everyone is made in God’s image and likeness.

I have called you...mine: A name represents a unique and unrepeatable individual. God knows and loves each of us by name, meaning he deals with us personally. Therefore, disrespect for someone’s name shows disrespect toward the person. (CCC 218, 287, 2158, 2167)

Ch 43:10-15 This stark prophecy is about the coming of Christ; he is the “servant” who comes in the name of the Lord to redeem his people (cf. Mt 21:9). The language also identifies the Redeemer with God himself, such that the Savior and the Lord are one. (CCC 565)

Ch 43:14-21 The Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt was a touchstone for remembering God’s deliverance. Every subsequent request for deliverance and salvation necessarily recalled that pivotal event in the history of Israel. (CCC 1334, 1363, 2057)

Ch 43:19 A new thing: This prophecy indicates the coming of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who was active in creation and would provide consolation and hope to the people. (CCC 711)

Ch 44:1-5 God loves his people so much that he was constantly disposed to forgive their numerous infidelities as long as they repented. (CCC 1063)

Ch 44:6-20 By definition, the basic tenet of every monotheistic religion is that there is only one God who transcends all creation. Belief in God is the basic tenet of faith from which flows the entire content of religious belief. Therefore, the Nicene Creed begins with the phrase, “I believe in one God.” In a certain sense, the entire Old Testament is both a history and teaching on the meaning of belief in one God and its ramifications for the Chosen People. (CCC 198, 201, 212, 2112)

Ch 44:24-28 This prophecy is a reminder that God is the Creator of the world down to the minutest detail and that he keeps everything in existence according to his providential will. (CCC 288, 315)

Ezekiel 4:1-8 God asked Ezekiel to perform a series of actions that were intended to convey messages clearly. He preached about a second assault on Jerusalem that Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians would wage in 587 BC, the year of the second wave of deportations. Having built a model of the city, Ezekiel laid on one side and then the other to indicate that punishments would befall the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel.

Three hundred and ninety days: The symbolism of this number is not clear, but it could mean that God would not permit these punishments to continue indefinitely, i.e., they would last only for a fixed period of time. 

Ch 4:9-17 Ezekiel’s rations indicate the famine that would result from the siege at Jerusalem. 

Dung: While many cultures used dung for cooking fuel, this practice was considered unclean by the Jews and prohibited. In the siege however, many in Judah were forced to cook with dung because of the scarcity of fuel. God allowed Ezekiel to do so perhaps as an indication that the traditional dietary laws handed down to Moses were gradually disappearing. 

Ch 5:1-4 The shaved hairs of Ezekiel represented the people of Judah and Israel. He warned that some would die by sword, some others by fire, and the remainder would either be exiled or remain in Judah; of this latter group, those who strayed from God would face punishment also. 

Ch 5:5-17 In this prophecy, Jerusalem’s sins were depicted as worse than those of their pagan neighbors. 

Fathers shall eat...their fathers: This shows the severity of the famine caused by the siege of Jerusalem. 

Proverbs 12:7 The metaphor expressed here is similar to Christ’s parable in which he compares the person of strong faith to one who builds a house on solid ground rather than on shifting sands (cf. Mt 7:24-27). (CCC 442, 642)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. Thank you so much. Thank you for claiming us. Thank you for being with us even in the midst of our battles, in the midst of our trials, in the midst of our sufferings. You are with us every day, God, and we thank you. Please help us when we’ve turned away from you to allow you to bring us back. Help us to repent of our sins. Help us to trust in your love and in your Grace. Especially Lord, when we are confused. Especially when we don’t know where to turn, when we don’t know what to do, help us to turn to you this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”