Memorial of St. Pius X, pope
Edward Arlington Robinson’s poem “Richard Cory” tells the tragic story of a rich man with a hard heart. Richard Cory attracted the admiration of everyone with his fine dress and well-chosen words. As enviable as he was, however, Richard Cory was also miserable. He could not empathize with the poor that were everywhere in his locale. Unable to love, Richard Cory felt so desperate that he killed himself.
The reading from Ezekiel today promises redemption to a nation of Richard Coreys. Ezekiel says that God will replace the stony hearts of the people of Judah with tender hearts so that the people can love God and one another. He says that this will be done through the gathering of the people into a new land and with the sprinkling of cleansing water.
How can we Christians not see this prophecy completed through Jesus’ establishing the Church? In the Church men and women of every race, language, and land are gathered together to form a new, holy people. The waters of Baptism wash away our sins so that we may live without guilt. The Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in the Letter to the Romans, flushes our hearts with the love of God. Recreated in this way, we can count on God’s continued support as we practice His gracious will.