Memory of the Church

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Memorial of Saint Clare of Assisi (+1253), disciple of Saint Francis on the way of poverty and evangelic simplicity.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Ezekiel 12,1-12

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, you are living among a tribe of rebels who have eyes and never see, they have ears and never hear, because they are a tribe of rebels. So, son of man, pack an exile's bundle and set off for exile by daylight while they watch. You will leave your home and go somewhere else while they watch. Then perhaps they will see that they are a tribe of rebels. You will pack your baggage like an exile's bundle, by daylight, while they watch, and leave like an exile in the evening, while they watch. While they watch, make a hole in the wall, and go out through it. While they watch, you will shoulder your pack and go out into the dark; you will cover your face so that you cannot see the ground, since I have made you an omen for the House of Israel.' I did as I had been told. I packed my baggage like an exile's bundle, by daylight; and in the evening I made a hole through the wall with my hands; then I went out into the dark and shouldered my pack while they watched. Next morning the word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, did not the House of Israel, did not that tribe of rebels, ask you, "What are you doing?" Say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: This prophecy concerns Jerusalem and the whole House of Israel who live there." Say, "I am an omen for you; as I have done, so will be done to them; they will be deported into exile. Their prince will shoulder his pack in the dark and go out through the wall; a hole will be made to let him out; he will cover his face, so that he cannot see the country.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The book of Ezekiel is sprinkled with symbolic actions, gestures that God asks the prophet to do so that they may be a sign for His people so that they may understand the time they are living, events and history. Seven times the Lord asks the prophet to do what he is instructed to do "before the eyes" of the people. Everyone must see, in order to understand. The word of God must become a vision, it must make us look up from ourselves to go beyond what we can see for ourselves: "Mortal, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not see, who have ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house." The "rebellion" against God, the rejection of his love, is the consequence of not wanting to see or hear. Their ear has stopped listening to the Word of God and their heart has hardened to the point of not being able to understand what is happening.
Thus, the prophet shows what is about to happen: he will pack an emigrant's bag and go out of the city, so that everyone can see. Through the prophet, the Lord wants to help his people to come out of their inability to see beyond the present, to look to the future. It is the power of the Word of God, which becomes a vision and a sign, to show us the course of history: the imminent fall of Jerusalem and the deportation of King Zedekiah and the people to Babylon. It is often stressed in the pages of the Bible that the Lord's people have eyes and ears but do not see the Lord's works and do not listen to his Word. That is why he asks Ezekiel - seven times, i.e. without ever tiring - to gather up all his belongings quickly, to leave them outside the house as if he were preparing to leave, and to open a gap in the brick wall to leave the house. This image questions the world we are in, in the face of wars, of destroyed cities and devastated land, of those who, like Ezekiel, are forced to pack their belongings in order to save their lives.