Immersed in Christ: August 10, 2020
MONDAY of the NINETEENTH WEEK in Ordinary Time
Heaven and earth are filled with your glory.
(Responsorial: Psalm 148)
Begin Ezekiel 1:2-28: We find here verification of what a Scripture professor said: “Ezekiel never saw anything on this earth.” Or never talks about it.
Ezekiel is like abstract art. The worst thing you can do is ask the painter of an abstract piece, “What is it?” It isn’t meant to be a picture of anything that exists. It is meant to produce a reaction to a certain aspect of reality: to give a perception of beauty or of ugliness. To produce joy or sadness, optimism or pessimism. Or something else. Abstract art is the imaging of an abstraction, of something about beings that “abstracts” from the whole, concrete reality of what any particular one of them is, in order to “say” or portray something about their reality that we would miss in a more “realistic” reproduction.
Don’t try to “imagine”—get an image of—what Ezekiel says he saw. Read the Responsorial Psalm instead. That expresses, in part, at least, the reaction Ezekiel wants to produce. And that reaction is a partial response and perception of the reality of God.
Heaven and earth are filled with your glory. Praise him in the heights. For his majesty is above earth and heaven. Praise him, all you his angels, all kings of the earth and all peoples. For his name alone is exalted.
For today, let’s just leave it at that. But don’t leave it. Do it. Praise him.
We need to praise him. Big time. because if we don’t, Matthew 17:22-27 will throw us as it did Jesus’ disciples.
They could not accept what he told them: “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men who will put him to death.” (They didn’t even hear “He will be raised up on the third day”). At these words “they were overwhelmed with grief.” Why?
It was because his “defeat” and death at the hands of his enemies contradicted what they thought and hoped he was. They Messiah they perceived him to be was just human: one who conceivably could be defeated, but whom God would protect from death. If they had known Jesus as “Son of God,” they would have known that death could not defeat him “because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.” 2
Jesus corrected Peter about this by reminding him whose Son he really was.
Initiative: Don’t stop with a human perception of Jesus. See him as he is.
1 The author knows nothing at all about abstract art, as these comments may have demonstrated. But what is said here about abstract art, true or false, helps to understand Ezekiel!
2 Acts 2:24.