Monday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ezekiel 1:2-5.24-28c; Matthew 17:22-27)
Every other summer the Church presents a healthy selection of readings from the prophets of Israel in weekday masses. Some may ask why bother with these ancient authors? For centuries the answer was because the prophets foretell the coming of Christ. But since the Vatican renewal, the prophets and, indeed, the entire Old Testament are read with a much greater scope.
In today’s reading from the Ezekiel the prophet begins the telling of his call. He finds himself in Babylonia as an exile. The heavens roar with a thunderhead, and the lightning gives way to a vision of the glory of God in human form. The scene is reminiscent of a modern description of God as mysterium tremendum et fascinans (“fearful and fascinating mystery”).
God calls us out of ourselves and our petty concerns to serve Him. The experience can be frightening as it means letting go of what provides us a modicum of peace. But following the Lord’s directive, we will find greater happiness than we could have ever dreamed.