Day 237: Water from the Temple

Jeremiah 18:1-17 The potter is an image of God, who forms the human person out of the clay of the earth (cf. Gn 2:7) simply by willing it. He has absolute power over creation with the capacity to create or annihilate. The image symbolizes God as an Omnipotent Creator who has formed each person lovingly and individually. The perfection and happiness of the human being is intimately linked to the pursuit of God’s will. If God is ignored or rejected, the individual will invariably suffer harm and experience unrelenting sorrow. 

Ch 18:18-23 Jeremiah again bemoaned the opposition that he faced. Some even plotted against his life. Some Church Fathers interpreted this fourth “confession” as a type (TYPOLOGY!!) of the mistreatment and rejection Christ would experience.

Ch 19:1-15 This passage continues with the theme of the previous chapter. The earthenware pot symbolizes the priests and people of Judah, whose hearts had become hardened and therefore did not have the docility likened to soft clay in the hands of the divine potter.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 Water symbolizes purity, refreshment, cleansing, and life. Here the spring begins in the Temple and rushes into the Dead Sea. It was a powerful symbol for a people who had suffered famine and drought for so long. Water feeds vegetation, thereby beautifying the landscape with luscious trees and shrubs. These images point to the restoration of Israel and the renewal of the Temple. 

Water was issuing…: These words are paraphrased at the Mass of Easter Vigil during the renewal of baptismal promises, when the people are being sprinkled by the newly blessed water. (CCC 1217)

Ch 47:13-23 According to the vision, the “new Israel” will be more expansive than before and will become the home of all nations and cultures. St. Jerome and others read this as a sign that the distinction between Jews and Gentiles would end since there will be just one People of God, “provided that they are converted and worship the one true God” (Commentarii in Ezechielem, 47, 21 ff). Throughout the Old Testament, the prophets have stated that God would gather all peoples into one people through the Redemption in Christ. Nevertheless, in the early Church, controversy arose concerning whether Gentile converts to Christianity needed to follow the Jewish laws and customs like circumcision and the observance of dietary laws before being baptized. About AD 49 the Apostles met in Jerusalem to discuss the matter, and it was decided that no such preconditions could be imposed on non-Jewish converts (cf. Acts 15). (CCC 60)

Ch 48:1-29 The distribution of land among the tribes of Israel and its precise dimensions were also more symbolic than practical, but it served to highlight once again the centrality of the Temple to the worship and life of Israel. 

Ch 48:30-35 Ezekiel closes with a description of the New Jerusalem. This image is a sign of the eternal Jerusalem, which is Heaven itself, a symbol used in the Book of Revelation as well to describe everlasting joy in the presence of the Lord (cf. Rev 21:12-13). (CCC 756, 2016)

(*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 so much for this day. And thank you so much for bringing us back to your Word on this day. You are a gift. Your Word is a gift. This day, Lord God, whatever day this is in our lives, it is Day 237 of just listening to your Word and we thank you so much for continuing to speak to us, not only speaking to our minds and revealing YOU to us, but also speaking to our hearts and moving our hearts to belong to you with everything we have and with everything we are. We thank you. We give you praise. And we bless your name. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”