Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22
In today’s reading from Ezekiel, the word, "abominations" stands out. It seems to be a word used sparingly in scripture perhaps in order to highlight the magnitude of the crime against God’s temple- where His presence dwells. The author‘s prophetic voice tells the reader that God has heard them, that His justice will rain down.
Today, many of us might wish for God’s justice to rain down. With its echoes of Passover, Ezekiel’s vision hits home a little too closely in light of the places where…."they have filled the land with violence" (Ez 8:17b). "They" might be any group or individual causing persecution. Among other tragedies, the destruction of flight 17 feels very much like an abomination when souls are treated with little dignity; we truly moan and groan for our brothers and sisters-where God’s presence dwells.
Yet, there in the midst of this chaotic scene the glory of God rises up. The author assures the exiles that God’s presence is with them; it is not contained only in the temple but where they are-where we are. God hears our cries, He is with us. Therefore, we will not look to the future with anxiety; we will walk in trust and hope.
The Gospel calls us to ponder how life might be if we took those first steps towards right relationships. Could this be where the seeds of world peace are contained? Might this be the antidote to eradicating violence? Gathered together, we ask for God’s grace to have the humility to listen to our brother if we have sinned against them …….and let world peace begin with me.
Jean Bowler is a retreatant at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, and a member of the Office of Mission Effectiveness Board of Holy Cross Province.