July 21

From the Prologue

Ezekiel was the son of a priest from the town of Sarir. He was taken to Babylon into captivity with King Jeoiachim along with many other Israelites. Living in captivity, Ezekiel prophesied for twenty-seven years. He was a contemporary of the Prophet Jeremiah. While Jeremiah taught and prophesied in Jerusalem, so Ezekiel taught and prophesied in Babylon. The prophecies of Jeremiah were known in Babylon and the prophecies of Ezekiel were known in Jerusalem. Both of these holy men agreed in the prophecies of each other. Both were mistreated and tortured by the unbelieving Jewish people. St. Ezekiel had frightening and unimaginable visions. By the river Chebar, Ezekiel saw the heavens open, "a great cloud and a fire infolding itself and a brightness was about it" (Ezekiel 1:4) and four wild creatures like molten copper [burnished brass]. One creature had the face of a man, the second the face of a lion, the third the face of a calf [ox], the fourth the face of an eagle [Ezekiel 1:10]. The face of the man signifies the Lord Incarnate as a man, the face of the lion, His divinity, the face of the calf, His sacrifice and the face of an eagle, His resurrection and ascension. At another time he was shown the vision of the resurrection of the dead. The prophet saw a valley full of dry dead bones and when the Spirit of God descended upon them, they came to life and rose to their feet [Ezekiel 37:1-10]. He also saw the most terrible destruction of Jerusalem when the wrath of God mowed down all, except those who were earlier marked with the Greek symbol called Tau [Ezekiel 9: 1-7]. This mark is like our letter T which is also the sign also of the Cross. The evil of the Jews did not even spare this holy man. Infuriated at him because he rebuked them, the Jews tied him to the tails of horses and ripped him in two. He was buried in the same sepulchre with Shem, the Son of Noah.

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