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)


  • OH GOSH YOU GUYS!

  • Not only do we get to the end of Ezekiel, which is AWESOME

  • But here is Jeremiah Chs 18 and 19

  • SO GOOD!

  • Let’s have another reminder, eh?

  • Shall we?

  • Sometimes we get to this part of the podcast and we might even forget the words we heard because there were a lot of words spoken

  • The Word of God is POWERFUL

  • The Word of God is LIVING

  • The Word of God is EFFECTIVE

  • BUT…

  • Sometimes it can go in one ear and out the other

  • Jeremiah Ch 18 is The Potter and the Clay

  • God tells Jeremiah, “Go down to the potter’s house…”

  • What does the potter do?

  • He is making a vessel out of clay and then he REWORKS IT

  • He decides, “This is not how I want it.”

  • So then he FIXES IT

  • THIS IS SO GOOD!

  • So Jeremiah makes a connection and God says, “Hear, O Israel. This is what I can do. Can I not do this? Can I not take a nation, a kingdom, can I not take a people that does not belong to me and make them mine? Can I also not take the people that are MINE and say, ‘You are not living the way I am calling you to’?”

  • GOD IS THE POTTER

  • WE ARE THE CLAY

  • THIS IS SO POWERFUL FOR US TO RECOGNIZE THIS IN OUR LIVES

  • NO MATTER WHAT OUR PAST IS

  • GOD CAN SAY, “NO BUT IN MY HANDS I CAN GIVE YOU A FUTURE.”

  • NO MATTER WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN THE PAST

  • WE CAN SAY, “OK GOD I AM IN YOUR HANDS”

  • For GOOD or for ILL

  • We can look at our SINFUL BROKEN PAST and say, “God, in your hands you can make me new. You can make me something that I can never make on my own.”

  • BUT ALSO…

  • If we look at our GOOD PAST and realize, “Ok, Lord that was good. But that was YOUR GRACE. That was also YOUR GIFT.”

  • Maybe we have done GOOD with our past

  • Maybe we have been BLESSED in our past

  • IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE DESERVE THAT

  • IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT NOW WE HAVE EARNED SOME KIND OF FUTURE

  • “Lord, today I am still in your hands.”

  • So whether our past has been a BROKEN MESS

  • Or whether our past has been BLESSED AND INCREDIBLE

  • WE FIND OURSELVES IN THIS MOMENT IN GOD’S HANDS

  • “No Lord, I am the CLAY. You are the POTTER.”

  • Now we have Israel’s Stubborn Idolatry

  • There is a connection between Israel and US

  • Jeremiah is WARNING them what is COMING

  • This is AFTER ALL THE DESTRUCTION that has come upon everyone

  • Jeremiah is STILL SAYING, “You guys, more disaster is coming.”

  • In Jeremiah Ch 18 we have Plots against Jeremiah

  • Jeremiah 18:18, “Then they said, ‘Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not heed any of his words.’”

  • Basically they are saying, “We don’t have to listen to Jeremiah because honestly, we still have priests, we still have wives, we still have prophets. We will listen to THEM instead.”

  • BUT…

  • Remember what those LYING PROPHETS are doing

  • They are being FALSE

  • They are telling the people what they WANT TO HEAR and not what they NEED TO HEAR

  • Jeremiah is the ONLY ONE we know about in this book that is telling the people what they NEED TO HEAR

  • Remember, Jeremiah is the WEEPING PROPHET

  • This strikes Jeremiah to the heart so much

  • He’s kind of like Moses in the wilderness

  • Remember when Moses said, “This is a stiff-neck people Lord.”

  • Sometimes Moses interceded for the people

  • Other times, Moses was DONE and OVER those people

  • “Lord God, go ahead, take them out.”

  • But of course he changes his mind and intercedes again

  • This is what Jeremiah is doing here too

  • He cares about the people so much

  • He loves the people and God so much

  • So Jeremiah is going to be thrown into a dried out cistern in the ground

  • So at some point even his love and patience for the people run out

  • We have to recognize that is the reality

  • Because there is a place in which even the holiest people we know that are among us, they are still human beings

  • Their love and patience is FINITE

  • As opposed to God

  • WHOSE LOVE AND PATIENCE IS INFINITE

  • AND YET…

  • There are consequences to our behavior

  • Jeremiah Ch 19 is The Broken Earthen Flask

  • Jeremiah 19:1-2, “Thus said the Lord, ‘Go, buy a potter’s earthen flask, and take some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests, and go out to the valley of the son of Hinnom…”

  • Remember the Valley of Hinnom?

  • This was where the people committed pagan sacrifices of THEIR OWN CHILDREN to the false god (Can you guess which god specifically? 🤔🤓)

  • Go there and shatter the potter’s flask

  • “This is what’s going to happen. If you continue this, Babylon is coming and they are going to DESTROY EVERYTHING HERE.”

  • THE TEMPLE

  • THE CITY

  • THEY WILL TAKE EVERYONE WORTH TAKING AND EXILE THEM (this all sounds so familiar…..🤔)

  • Jeremiah does not revel in this even though he is praying for judgment upon the people

  • He loves the people

  • He loves the Lord

  • He does not want disaster to come upon them

  • BUT IT IS COMING

  • THAT IS FOR ALL OF US

  • Remembering the fact that our actions and decisions HAVE CONSEQUENCES

  • Those consequences can be BLESSINGS

  • Those consequences can also be PAINFUL

  • “Ok, Lord, I can repent NOW whether it is time to repent.”

  • At the end of Ezekiel we have this INCREDIBLE IMAGE

  • We have been following the rebuilding of the Temple and reconstitution of the city of Jerusalem

  • NOW…

  • We have this INCREDIBLE IMAGE of the WATER running from underneath the Temple from the RIGHT SIDE, the EAST SIDE

  • The image is a SMALL TRICKLE OF WATER that goes out from the RIGHT SIDE/EAST SIDE of the Temple and flows out

  • It continues to get deeper as it goes into the Dead Sea (Arabah)

  • If you know anything about the Dead Sea, you know that NOTHING lives there

  • Here is God’s prophecy through Ezekiel that says, “This living water that flows from the Temple will go all the way down to the Dead Sea. Not only will there be incredible life in the Dead Sea with abundant fish and life teeming in the Dead Sea. But all along that river, there will be so much fruit on the trees. It will bear fruit every month.”

  • This LIVING WATER that comes from the Temple is a PROPHECY

  • Not only of the fact that God is going to bring his people back to Jerusalem after they leave Babylon

  • BUT…

  • Ultimately what God is going to do in bringing LIFE to this world

  • Jesus says, “Destroy this Temple and I will rebuild it in three days.”

  • The people scoff

  • But Jesus was referring to THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY

  • If you ever see a CRUCIFIX you will note not only is Jesus CRUCIFIED, but he always has the SPEAR MARK ON HIS SIDE

  • One of the soldiers thrust him through with a spear according to John’s Gospel

  • BLOOD AND WATER FLOWED OUT

  • The Church Fathers always saw that as a SYMBOL

  • THE WATER IS A SYMBOL OF BAPTISM!!

  • THE BLOOD IS A SYMBOL OF THE EUCHARIST, OF HOLY COMMUNION!!

  • WATER AND BLOOD FLOWING FROM THE SIDE OF JESUS

  • Jesus was referring to the TEMPLE OF HIS BODY

  • Here in Ezekiel we have WATER flowing from the RIGHT SIDE of the Temple

  • If you see a CRUCIFIX, the spear wound on Jesus’ side is on the RIGHT SIDE!!

  • FROM THE VERY BEGINNING THE EARLY CHRISTIANS SAW THIS

  • JESUS IS THIS TEMPLE THAT EZEKIEL PROPHESIED

  • IT IS FROM JESUS’ SIDE THAT BLOOD AND WATER FLOW OUT

  • SO WHAT HAPPENS?

  • When we are BAPTIZED we are made COMPLETELY NEW

  • We are made into GOD’S SONS AND DAUGHTERS

  • We are given DIVINE LIFE INSIDE OF US

  • We are made PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE OF GOD HIMSELF

  • So this symbol that Ezekiel is pointing out about the NEW TEMPLE that is reconstituted in Israel is ACTUALLY JESUS HIMSELF!! 🤯🤯🤯

  • From the RIGHT SIDE of the Temple, the EAST SIDE, flows out this WATER that BRINGS LIFE TO EVERYTHING

  • FROM CHRIST’S PIERCED RIGHT SIDE FLOWS OUT BLOOD AND WATER

  • THAT WATER GIVES US NEW LIFE!!

  • THAT BLOOD GIVES US ETERNAL LIFE!!

  • John Ch 6, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you. But all those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have ETERNAL LIFE.”

  • THIS IS INCREDIBLE

  • What an INCREDIBLE GIFT that Jesus is the FULFILLMENT of not just this prophecy at the end of the Book of Ezekiel, BUT OF ALL OF THE PROPHECIES OF THE MESSIAH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

  • THEY ARE FULFILLED IN JESUS CHRIST!!

  • Tomorrow we start The Book of Daniel!!

  • So we are jumping all over the time period here

  • Ezekiel is the last big prophet before we hear of the being brought back to Jerusalem, the reconstruction of the city and the Temple

  • We still have to go through a few prophets in Exile including Jeremiah

  • But also Daniel

  • Remember Daniel was exiled in the FIRST WAVE

  • We will finally hear about that

  • OH MAN (OH MAN!)

  • LET’S KEEP TRUCKING ALONG!!

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER


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.”