Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Devotions

Ez 9:1-7;10:18-22; Ps 113:1-6; Mt 18:15-20



No one is like the LORD our God.  The transcendence of the LORD is beyond our imagination.  The LORD is unlike anything in the whole universe.  We who seek the LORD must have his grace to desire and to seek.  None of our senses can detect the LORD, and our intellect is completely helpless to know him.  The only way we can know the LORD is by his grace.  The LORD alone can supply the faith we need to know, love and serve the LORD in this world and be happy with him forever in the next.  As the saints have taught us it is the dark light of faith that enables us to catch a glimpse of his glory and to desire to live in his presence forever.  The gift of faith enables us to be certain about that which we cannot see.  Once we have heard his voice and responded.  Once we have glimpsed his glory and been blinded by the light.  We are invited to become servants of the LORD.  We cannot not praise His Name.  For the LORD is blessed both now and forever.  From the rising to the setting of the sun we delight in the praise of the Name of the LORD.  The LORD our God is high above all the nations; above the heavens is his glory.  Nothing here in this world can have such a complete and absolute claim upon us.  No one is like the LORD our God, who is enthroned on high and looks down upon the heavens and the earth.  The faith vision of Ezekiel, the exile-prophet, enabled him to see the LORD cleansing his People and his Temple from all the abominations they had been practicing.  The Lord Jesus gathers among those who agree with him seeking to make holy the assembly of disciples.  Even now we gather in the Name of Jesus to forgive and to be forgiven so that we may taste and see the goodness of the LORD who is in our midst as a foretaste of the heavenly Banquet of the Lamb.

 

Usually, those who moan and groan are commanded to be silent, but in the Prophet Ezekiel’s vision these are the ones to be marked and saved.  He overheard the LORD command the man dressed in linen, with a writer’s case at his waist, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it.”  These are the holy ones who have not gone over to false gods.  They are the blessed because they mourn.  We, too, are summoned in the Beatitudes to find blessing in sharing the LORD’s own sadness over those who delight in the enticement of sin and vice.  The scourges of the city have defiled the Temple with the bodies of those who practice abomination with impunity.  Once the Temple is defiled the glory of the LORD rests upon the cherubim.  The LORD abandons his Temple, but he does not abandon his People.  His glory is above them upon the fiery angels.  “Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them, while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel.”  The LORD waits with divine patience for his People to harken to the voice of his prophets and return to Him.  For the LORD our God wants to fill us with his glory, and to shine brightly in our Temple and in our lives.  Indeed, the LORD wants to attract all the nations to share in his greatness and glory.  Indeed, the LORD still wants us to know, love, and serve him in this life and to share in his divine life with him forever.

 

This is the reason the Lord Jesus came; this is his mission.  In his instruction to the disciples, the Divine Teacher reveals to us the only way to live in the brightness of his glory.  We must live in communion even with those who sin against us.  When someone sins against us we are to confront him with the truth of his offence.  If our brother listens then we have won over our brother to holiness.  Then reconciliation is possible because mutual forgiveness is shared.  If our brother does not listen and respond to the truth, then we must take along two or more witnesses from among the disciples to support our testimony.  When even this kindness is not accepted then we are to treat our brother as we would treat him as a Gentile or a tax collector.  These we forgive but we do not share with them in table fellowship until they repent and return humbly.  Indeed, the greatest love we can show them is to be united in our prayer for their conversion.  This prayer is heard because we agree in prayer, and our heavenly Father is moved to compassion by our love for our enemies.  We are bound together even more completely, and we lose those who reject our fellowship.  By their rejection they separate themselves from us, but we do not abandon the lost.  Like the LORD upon his cherubim we are lifted high in prayer and wait with his own divine patience for their repentance.  It is this agreement in Christ that makes his presence in our midst even more palatable and delightful.  Indeed, this is the blessedness of mourning over those who choose death and darkness.  Such a blessing we share readily without resentment and without hesitation with all who repent and believe in the gospel.