August 6 and 7, 2009 – Ezekiel – Dry Bones Come to LifeWe spend time with the prophet Ezekiel a half-dozen times or so each year at noon reflecting with God’s word. Written during the Babylonian exile, this prophecy is characterized first by the prophet’s interest in the temple and liturgy – perhaps because he was a priest – and later by the promise of salvation through a new covenant which will fulfill and amplify the people’s original covenant with God mediated by Moses. The book closes with a final “utopian vision of the Israel of the future, rid of its past evils and re-established firmly under the Lord. The famous vision of the dry bones in chapter 37 expresses his firm belief in a forthcoming restoration, Israel rising to a new life from the graveyard of Babylon”. (Senior 1034)
Jesus, as we are told in the New Testament, is the fulfillment and embodiment of this new contract. Christ, God’s expression of his love for us, replaces the Jerusalem temple and now lives in each of us. We are called to enact our understanding of Christ as we journey through our days here on earth. We, coming together in Christ, respond to the call to become the new Israel rising from the tomb of our old lives of separation from God. This is an offer we cannot refuse.
There are many dry places in our lives, many opportunities lost or squandered, many gifts forgotten or left carelessly behind. We might concentrate on these sins, faults and separations but this does not bring us peace or joy. Rather, we might remember that we are graced, we are blessed, we are already saved. It is not required of us that we earn God’s love and blessing in any way for we are already his loved children; we are the bones that shake off the dust of death when we rise to the offer of new life.
How do we lift ourselves from our poverty of energy or spirit to take the hand of serenity reaching out to us?
We might speak with God in endless thanksgiving for all the small and great ways he continues to save us. We might gather around us those companion seekers of truth and justice. We might read scripture with a thirst that is only satisfied with finding union with God. We might ask for and receive the comfort presented to us by the Holy Spirit. And in doing all of this . . . we will be fortified with the courage to trust more and fear less. We will come to life as we accept Christ’s proposal to love our enemies, to hope for the impossible, and to always turn to him. We will rise from the graveyard of our old way of thinking . . . and we will join those who willingly seek the joy that is found when we live our lives in Christ.
Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.1034. Print.
For more thought on how dry bones might take on new life, click on the image to the right above, or go to: http://blueeyedennis-siempre.blogspot.com/2011/04/can-these-dry-bones-live.html