Ezekiel 48:35: The Lord is Here – Part III
We have celebrated Easter Week, an eight-day celebration of the resurrection of the crucified Christ, and as we move forward through Eastertide, we continue to explore the doubt we might have about the resurrection miracle. We continue to ask the familiar question in the face of violence and tragedy: Where is God? And Ezekiel, the prophet who lives in exile from the physical place in which he believes God resides, gives us a simple answer to this simple question: God resides everywhere. As Easter people who celebrate the miracle of Easter renewal, we see God best in the new temple of the Christ’s body. We see God best when we all strive toward creating the New Jerusalem here among us, a place where differences are anticipated and respected, a place where every voice is heard, a place where reparations are made and accepted, a place of healing and restoration. A place of ultimate and intense truth. A place of purity and of fire and of healing.
The prophet Ezekiel tells us that God is a paradox. He tells us that the Temple and God’s presence must be central to our lives. He tells us that God is awesome – “reaching far beyond human relationships and human explanations”. (Senior RG 339) He tells us that as individuals we are responsible for our own adherence to the Law and that no matter our ancestry or our misfortunes, we cannot scapegoat our circumstances. “Each person lives or dies according to his or her wicked or virtuous way of life”. (Senior RG 340) Ezekiel transforms the art of prophecy, bringing it to a new level and setting the stage for the entrance of the Messiah and the New Testament. He also lays the foundation for the Second Coming – when the Lord returns and sends his angels among the living to separate the sheep from the goats.
All of this is too terrible, too wonderful, too much to believe – and yet there is nothing else to believe. All other thought pales and hence the paradox. What we first see and hear we want to believe but do not, thinking that this New Jerusalem is impossible. Yet through living, suffering, hoping, believing and loving we arrive at no other spot. We have no choice but to believe that indeed, the Lord is Here.
When we spend time with this prophecy today, we have the opportunity to feel the presence of God as we remember and reflect . . . we are Easter People . . . visited by the risen Christ . . . and so the Lord is among us.
Click on the image above of linens in the empty tomb to read “Rising Isn’t Optional,” a post by youth minster Lindsay Williams, visit: http://blogs.nd.edu/oblation/2012/11/29/rising-isnt-optional/
Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 337. Print.
Adapted from a Favorite written on September 15, 2007.