I missed a few sessions of our Bible Study class during my recent travels, but I was not concerned because typically we cover only 2-4 chapters of a book in any given session. Since I am currently reading Ezekiel for morning meditation and we are also reading Ezekiel in class, I figured I was well ahead of the curve in spite of missing a few sessions. So, imagine my surprise when I showed up last week, finally back in town, to learn that my class was on the exact same chapter I was reading!
The next chapter stopped me: Chapter 39. In it, God tells Ezekiel the various punishments he will wreak so that His people will know that He is the Lord. The phrase is repeated over and over, "and they will know that I am the Lord."
Reading: Ezekiel 39.
Meditation: There are some events, stories, and emotions in the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament)that evoke visceral reactions (at least, for me). God's constant having to show us that He is God because we keep turning away from Him is, to me, sad. Who are we to consider that anything that might interest or intrigue us could possibly be more important than we to God and God to us? We have been given so much, including knowledge beyond what was originally intended, yet have little gratitude? Man historically has worshiped other gods, which, it seems to me (but what do I know?), at least a tiny tad bit better than being an atheist who worships no gods at all. The fact that God keeps trying to get our attention (and certainly He dramatically got mine when I was being totally oblivious) says a lot about God's love for us. Why can't we love Him the way He wants to love us? (That's a question to which I don't have an answer!)
Contemplation: That is far as I can go with you this Monday morning. I now retire to private prayer to praise God for His constancy in His love for us. I will thank God for coming after His lost sheep and for giving us a second chance, third chance, fourth chance, and I will ask forgiveness for the need for all those chances. Finally, I will ask God never to stop reminding me that He is Lord (although I do hope that I will not need many reminders). Then I will move on to contemplation, my favorite part of the day, letting God take over the direction in which my relationship with Him moves.
I will leave you now to your prayer and contemplation. First, though, I would like to bring to your attention a Monday morning prayer post that you might enjoy:
Fr. Austin Fleming, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and pastor in Concord, Massachusetts, posts a prayer each Monday morning that he calls "Monday Morning Offering." I enjoy his prayers very much. I think you also will find them inspirational. He has graciously given me permission to include a link to his blog on my Monday Morning Meditation posts. (During the week, he also posts great homilies and other thoughtful discussions. I enjoy reading those, too, as do readers of this blog who have taken the stroll over to his blog.)
For additional inspiration throughout the week, I would point out two sets of blogs: (1) the list of devotional blogs on my sidebar and (2) my blogroll, where I am following a number of inspirational priests and writers about spiritual matters. I learn so very much from all these people. I highly recommend them to you.