Day 221: Walking with Wise Men

Isaiah 63:1-19 In this apocalyptic passage, the Lord defeated Edom, which stood for all Israel’s enemies. These verses prefigure Christ’s work of redemption and defeat of the prince of this world, the Devil. Christian tradition traditionally applied this chapter to Christ, whose Sacrifice on the Cross brought salvation to all people. (CCC 1366-1367)

Ch 64:1-2 Isaiah’s prayer beseeched the Lord to send the Messiah soon. In humble petition, he presented the needs of the Chosen People in a spirit of trust and abandonment. 

Ezekiel 21:1-17 Through an ode to the sword, these verses extol this weapon’s role in carrying out the Lord’s command to punish his people.

Sigh therefore: Ezekiel could not help but feel pain and sorrow over what awaited the people of Jerusalem given his deep solidarity with them. If only the people had listened to the prophets that came before him and repented of their sins, this tragedy would have been averted.

Upon your thigh: For ancient Semites, grief was often expressed by striking themselves on the upper leg. 

Ch 21:18-32 Nebuchadnezzar planned his strategy by means of various forms of divination; nevertheless, ultimately the Lord determined his plans. The Ammonites, too, would be conquered by Babylon, and Babylon in turn would eventually fall. God’s judgment and authority included all people without exception. 

Ch 22:1-22 The fall of Jerusalem and the exile of its people are just punishments for the litany of sins enumerated by these verses. In refining metals, a hot furnace is needed to melt the metal if it is to be made purer and molded into useful implements or works of art; in a like manner, the devastation that was taking place would purify the Jews and forge them into a newer and holier people. (CCC 710)

Ch 22:23-31 As often happens in the prophetic books, the kings, princes, priests, and other officials received more severe reprimands and punishments because they had failed to direct their people in the ways of the Lord or to provide justly for the needy and afflicted. (CCC 1928-1948)

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

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we thank you so much. We thank you and give you love. That’s all. Just thank you today. Thank you for bringing us to this day. We know that you are good. We know that you are God. We know that you love us and so there’s nothing else to say but thank you, for who you are. Thank you for all that you’ve done. Thank you for being with us and never abandoning us. Help us to walk with you. Bring people into our lives who can walk with us so that we can be the men and women that you have called us to be this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”