Readings for Today
Dry and lifeless or alive and active? I have never really been in a serious drought, but I have had the feeling of being quite dry. In the United States, significant parts of California and some parts of Texas are in exceptional drought circumstances. Much of the southwestern United States is seriously dry. Many countries around the world are experiencing extreme drought conditions. Most of the time, being dry is not a good thing. That is why the vision of Ezekiel in the first readings emphasizes dry bones everywhere. The house of Israel has completely fallen apart, long since abandoning their faith. But our God is the God of hope, and he uses Ezekiel to prophesy over the bones to bring them to life.
When we are dry, as in thirst, water never tastes so good. In drought, rain is seen with happiness and joy. To cease experiencing dryness is usually quite a pleasant thing. And so it does not take much to understand the point of the first reading. The faith life of Israel has become hopelessly dry. Until Ezekiel is prophet and speaks the Word of God to the bones. God’s word brings to life and ends the dryness.
Dry and lifeless or alive and active? How do you describe your faith? If it is dry, you are in good company. Many of the saints described a prayer life and a relationship with God that was at times, even significant times, quite dry. So what brings faith back to life? “Lord GOD, you alone know that.” We are reminded by Ezekiel’s faith filled response that God alone is the author and source of life. And while people are capable of turning away from God and doing horrible, horrible things, God always offers the chance for conversion to the willing heart.