Advent meditation: Although God called the people of Israel to redeem the world, they too failed. This is because they had yet to be given the grace of incarnation. God called the prophets to call people back to faithfulness, but the people would not listen. The prophets told the people that for their sins, God would use the empires of Assyria and Babylon to conquer the Israelites and take them away into exile. The prophet Ezekiel was shown a vision of the idolatry in the temple. God then showed Ezekiel His heavenly chariot. Ezekiel saw God depart the temple because of the idolatry and dwell with the people in exile. From this we should learn that God cares that He is worshiped properly as He has taught us, and that He is displeased when priests are disobedient. However, we should also remember that Ezekiel himself was a priest and we should remember to pray for faithful priests.
Prayer: Holy Prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, please intercede for all faithful priests so that they might remain faithful in the face of persecution, just as you were.
Scripture: God to me [Ezekiel], “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” So I went in and saw; and there, portrayed upon the wall round about, were all kinds of creeping things, and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel. And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord; and behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too slight a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence, and provoke me further to anger? Lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I will deal in wrath; my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; and though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.” Then the glory of the Lord went forth from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight as they went forth, with the wheels beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the house of the Lord; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain. (Ezekiel 8:9-11, 16-18, 10:18-19, 11:23)