Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Being swollen with pride"

"Ezekiel," Michelangelo

Perhaps I am unduly pessimistic, but the first reading for Mass today, which concerns a prophecy God wants Ezekiel to deliver to the people of Tyre, seems uncomfortably apt for US, and, more generally, the contemporary western world.  "Swollen with pride" certainly sounds like us.

Incidentally, Tyre was indeed destroyed, by King Nebuchadnezzar. 

Here is the reading (Ezekiel 28:1-10):

The word of the Lord was addressed to me as follows, ‘Son of man, tell the ruler of Tyre, “The Lord says this:
Being swollen with pride,
you have said: I am a god;
I am sitting on the throne of God,
surrounded by the seas.
Though you are a man and not a god,
you consider yourself the equal of God.
You are wiser now than Danel;
there is no sage as wise as you.
By your wisdom and your intelligence
you have amassed great wealth;
you have piles of gold and silver
inside your treasure-houses.
Such is your skill in trading,
your wealth has continued to increase,
and with this your heart has grown more arrogant.
And so, the Lord says this:
Since you consider yourself the equal of God,
very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you,
the most barbarous of the nations.
They will draw sword against your fine wisdom,
they will defile your glory;
they will throw you down into the pit
and you will die a violent death
surrounded by the seas.
Are you still going to say: I am a god,
when your murderers confront you?
No, you are a man and not a god
in the clutches of your murderers!
You will die like the uncircumcised
at the hand of foreigners.
For I have spoken–it is the Lord who speaks.”’

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