Blessed by Abundant Life

Today’s first Mass reading is from the Book of Ezekiel is one I always love reading and hearing proclaimed…but it is not easy for me to put my finger on exactly why that is the case.

It is also a difficult passage to succinctly describe. (You can find it here). Ezekiel describes being led by an angel first to the entrance of the temple of the Lord and then around the temple. At each point he describes the water first trickling out from the temple and then flowing more powerfully so that it rises “so high it had become a river.” The description contains incredibly detailed measurements of the temple and of the water.

After walking around the temple, Ezekiel is led to a bank on the river formed by the water flowing out of the temple, and the angel explains how the water flows into different areas. The angel also explains that wherever the water flows there is abundance.

For Christians, the symbolism isn’t at all subtle. Christ is the Temple, from Him flows the living water. The waters in the reading signify the gospel of Christ, which went forth from Jerusalem, and spread all around, producing blessed effects.

Lack of subtly often bothers me, but for some reason I don’t react to it negatively here. The descriptions captivate me completely. As I read, I feel I am with Ezekiel and the angel, and I’m excited as I watch and feel the water rising. And I can see the waters flowing through all the land, creating life. And I feel blessed by that abundance.

My invitation is to pick up this passage today. Let the words wash over you. Feel their power and beauty.

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