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Posts Tagged ‘Revelation’


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Ezekiel 1: Cherubim

The Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant

We have frequently looked at the Cherubim in our Noontimes in connection with the opening nine chapters of the Book of Wisdom and we have reflected that these Cherubim are Wisdom, living close by God but calling to us to sit in praise of God . . . for this is where Wisdom finds her most comfortable nest.

When we look at this opening chapter of Ezekiel, we see that God sits on a throne carried by winged Cherubim.  To read more about the mythological and physical origin of these creatures we can go to: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/c/cherubim.html  or to http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03646c.htm .

Creatures that live this close to God must be special indeed; yet these beings are no more important to God than each of us.  If we might think about being as close to God as the Cherubim, if we might create an image of the power needed to pull any chariot large enough to encompass our God, if we can imagine the magnitude of wisdom that these creatures symbolize . . . we are well on our way to comprehending the love that God has for us.

As the NEW ADVENT website points out, to Catholics these creatures are more than symbolic.  They are ministers who have an intimate and intense understanding of who God is and how he moves in our lives.  In the fullness of this knowledge they have become “sublime hosts” to God’s presence.

We see these creatures again in Revelation and still they have their fantastic and unique place in God’s kingdom, they are the wheels of God, the wisdom with which and through which God operates.  They are in constant praise of God, and they continually glory in his being and presence.

We might put ourselves in the place of these creatures for a few moments today and we might contemplate our own imagery of wisdom.  What is it exactly?  How does it operate?  Where does it take us?  To what does it call us?  Why do we seek it?

And then we might sit with these verses for a while to meditate on them and on what drives our own lives: Wherever the spirit wished to go, there the wheels went . . . such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. 


Image from: http://www.crystalinks.com/ark.html

For written on March 4, 2010. Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

Enter the word Cherubim in the blog search box to read more about these amazing creatures and Wisdom.

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Solomon’s Temple

Leviticus 18 & 19: Holiness

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.

The Book of Leviticus is often overlooked because it is a compendium of hundreds of laws governing not only the major forces of life but also the minutiae.  Today the Bible opens to these two chapters which deal with sexual and social conduct . . . two areas that we tend to confuse in society today.

This week at Mass we are reading from Revelation through which we might investigate our relationship with God’s as a conjugal relation: that intimate place where both God and we commune.  Commentary and reflection time will lead us to questions: What do our interactions with others say about our relationship with God?  What do out actions in the world say about our belief in God?  How do our words and actions express God in the world?

We might have a quick response prepared that we have readied in the event that someone or some life event calls us to think about how we might experience an “end time”.  We do ourselves a favor when we linger with these words, and when we allow ourselves to remember other scripture verses.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own.  You were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

This attitude of honoring God through all we do is sometimes lost on us.  We are a people wanting to have our own way in all things at all times.  We seek quick, easy and superficial gratification, fearing to stay long in any one place or with any one person, thinking this mode of living too staid, too conventional . . . too silly and un-hip . . . too boring.

What is it we fear in committing ourselves to a constant and faithful life?  Do we want to leave all options open to the last possible moment?  Are we waiting for something better to come along?  Do we shrink from being controlled without noticing that this reluctance to enter into relationship is a passive form of control?  How are we to behave?  What are we to say and think?  How are we to act?

We are made in God’s image.  We have only to look at how the creator treats us to know how to be holy . . . and then we must try to emulate this behavior.

Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.


Written on November 17, 2008. Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/379-2-samuel-7/

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Matthew 13:1-50: The Parable Discourse

Friday, September 27, 2019

Mustard Seed

If we can find the time this evening or this weekend, we will want to leaf through the first portions of the 13th chapter of Matthew and reflect.  The Gospel writer is careful to record Christ’s words; he preserves them for us so many centuries after they were first spoken.

An essay in THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE makes three points about this portion of Matthew’s Jesus Story.  First, we must seek meaning in these verses and when we do, we will be rewarded with the wisdom and grace of Spirit’s presence.  Second, we must always be confident in God’s promise and providence brought to us by Jesus.  And third, leaders of all kinds will have to struggle with the gray world of often opposing forces.  The past and present will be linked only when we seek and trust God.

“Parables are the trademark of Jesus . . . [T]hese pointed stories both reveal and veil the mystery of the Kingdom. Unless the listener is willing to probe beneath the surface of the parables, the true meaning of Jesus’ words will escape them . . . [T]rue followers of Jesus are to put aside everything and be fully committed to the compelling beauty of God’s reign.

“Many of the parables in Matthew’s Gospel have obvious moral messages . . . The parable of the weeds sown among the wheat explanation makes the point that the church, like the world itself, is a mix of good and evil.  The disciples should not be discouraged by this but be confident that God’s grace will triumph at the end of time and evil will be punished . . .

“The conclusion of the parable discourse seems almost to be a signature of the Gospel writer . . . Bridging past and present in an open and respectful manner is one the greatest challenges of religious leadership”.  (Senior RG 397)

And so we wait. We search.  We question.  We doubt.  We struggle.  We turn to and rely on God.  We enter willingly into both the mystery and the revelation . . . for the more we know the more we question.

The Parable Discourse is a lesson on how to meet difficulty.  It is a graced interchange and dialog with our God.  And it is an open door that invites us to enter the world of Jesus.  May we be confident enough and bold enough to accept this invitation.


Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.RG 397. Print.  

A re-post from September 7, 2012.

Image from: http://notesfromthepastorsoffice.com/2011/07/23/sermon-fodder-why-is-the-parable-discourse-matthew-13-even-more-important-than-it-appears/

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Ezekiel 1Cherubim

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Written on March 4, 2010 and posted today as a Favorite.

More than a year ago we looked at the Cherubim in one of our Noontimes in connection with the opening nine chapters of the Book of Wisdom.

When I think of Wisdom I often think of the description we have read of the winged Cherubim that arch over the Ark in the Holy of Holies (1 Kings 6-8), that place in the deepest interior of the Jerusalem temple, that place reserved for men only, that place to which Wisdom drew her priests.  Scripture describes these creatures as guarding the eastern gate of Eden (Genesis 3:24).  The Hebrews fashion Cherubim that watch over the desert Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25, 26, 36, 37 and Numbers 7), and later in the New Testament the writer of the letter to the Hebrews (9) recalls this image to his audience.  The Cherubim remain with the Ark and with these desert people through David’s time (1 Samuel 4) until a permanent kingdom is established when we see them in Solomon’s temple as glorious guardians and companions of the place where God takes up residence.  In Psalms and prayers, the Lord is often seen as seated among or between Cherubim; and in these songs when we place ourselves “beneath the wing” or “in the shadow of the wing” of God, this is the place we find ourselves.  I like to think of these Cherubim as Wisdom, living close by God but calling to us to sit in praise of God . . . for this is where Wisdom finds her most comfortable nest. 

When we look at this opening chapter of Ezekiel, we see that God sits on a throne carried by winged Cherubim.  To read more about the mythological and physical origin of these creatures we can go to: http://www.pantheon.org/articles/c/cherubim.html  or to http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03646c.htm .

Creatures that live this close to God must be special indeed; yet these beings are no more important to God than each of us.  If we might think about being as close to God as the Cherubim, if we might create an image of the power needed to pull any chariot large enough to encompass our God, if we can imagine the magnitude of wisdom that these creatures symbolize . . . we are well on our way to comprehending the love that God has for us.

As the NEW ADVENT website points out, to Catholics these creatures are more than symbolic.  They are ministers who have an intimate and intense understanding of who God is and how he moves in our lives.  In the fullness of this knowledge they have become “sublime hosts” to God’s presence.

We see these creatures again in Revelation and still they have their fantastic and unique place in God’s kingdom, they are the wheels of God, the wisdom with which and through which God operates.  They are in constant praise of God, and they continually glory in his being and presence.

We might put ourselves in the place of these creatures for a few moments this afternoon and we might contemplate our own imagery of wisdom.  What is it exactly?  How does it operate?  Where does it take us?  To what does it call us?  Why do we seek it?

And then we might sit with these verses for awhile to meditate on them and on what drives our own lives: Wherever the spirit wished to go, there the wheels went . . . such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. 


A re-post from August 22, 2011.

Image from: http://www.bibleorigins.net/CherubimColossalinHolyofHolies.html

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Hebrews 1:1-4: Sisters and Brothers of Christ

Saturday, December 5, 2015c3bcnity

This is really so simple; yet so difficult to see.  God’s plan of revelation to us has and is an on-going process.  We must always be open to the words and ideas that come to us from God. The prophets foretold of the coming of the saving shepherd who will leave the ninety nine to find the one lost sheep.  In Christ, we have this shepherd.  From the time of creation described in Genesis we have known that we are created because of and out of God’s love.  Through the Old Testament we see how God acts to bring us home to him, always allowing us to choose between the spirits of good and evil.  The sapiential books give us practical advice, animate us when we grieve, accompany us when we rejoice.  The prophets remind us of our covenant promise with God.  The New Testament tells the story of the incarnation and in-dwelling of God’s word to us.  Christ is here.  Christ is present.  God walks among us . . . his chosen beings.

Advent is a time when we anticipate this coming.  We light candles, decorate our homes and hearts, make ready banquets and gifts.  We are the bride preparing for the coming of the groom.

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe . . .

We are the adopted sisters and brothers of this son.  We are co-heirs, co-redeemers, co-actors in this universe.  What an awesome gift.  What a sacred blessing.  The immensity of this truth is almost impossible to take in.

A Favorite from Friday, December 12, 2008.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

hebrew letter pePsalm 119:129-136

Pe

The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple .  Steady my feet in accord with your promise . . .

God is revealed to us in the person of Christ, in the written word of inspired scripture, and in us, God’s creatures fashioned in God’s own image.

God says: You struggle so much to find me and yet I am with you always.  You wear yourselves out seeking my wisdom and yet you are filled with my Spirit of counsel and understanding.  You work so hard at imitating me yet all you must do is read my word each day to allow it to become part of your sinew and bone.  You ask for stability, predictability and authenticity yet each of you carries within my promise fulfilled. So plant your feet on the rock of my promise, armor yourselves with the truth of my word, and restore yourselves with the renewal found in my promise that I have planted in each of you.

Once we give ourselves over into God’s capable hands we experience a sense of relief. Once we surrender to God’s great plan and time we have a sensation of belonging.  Once we allow ourselves to believe in God’s promise we find our proper role as Children of God  . . . and we find that God has revealed himself to us most honestly and generously.

Jesus says: I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to the childlike.  Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.  (Luke 10:21)

For more on how Pe speaks to us of God’s word to us, go to: http://www.inner.org/hebleter/pei.htm

Tomorrow, Sadhe.

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