The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord God: Because your heart is proud and you have said, “I am a god; I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,” yet you are but a mortal, and no god, though you compare your mind with the mind of a god.
You are indeed wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you; by your wisdom and your understanding you have amassed wealth for yourself, and have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries. By your great wisdom in trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth.
Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you compare your mind with the mind of a god, therefore, I will bring strangers against you, the most terrible of the nations; they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor. They shall thrust you down to the Pit, and you shall die a violent death in the heart of the seas.
Will you still say, “I am a god,” in the presence of those who kill you, though you are but a mortal, and no god, in the hands of those who wound you? You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of foreigners; for I have spoken, says the Lord God.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s reading from Ezekiel portrays a God who seems to mock the prince of Tyre. God here speaks with sarcasm that becomes condemnation after stating that this prince has allowed his personal merits to become his defining traits. In short, God says he will leave this prince to defend himself, as the prince has placed himself on a godlike pedestal.
Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, has a warning against forging an identity through “an absorption with social and political advantages” or “a vanity about the ability to manage practical matters.” The pope does not want us to become lost in our own merits, but rather be “passionate about communicating the beauty and the joy of the Gospel and seeking out the lost among the immense crowds that thirst for Christ.” I pray that I can use my gifts to help others recognize the face of Christ.
—Joe Wotawa, SJ, is a scholastic of the USA Central and Southern Province completing his theology studies at the Xavier University Institute for Black Catholic Studies and the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.
O Deus Ego Amo Te
O God, I love thee, I love thee,
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.
Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails, and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,
Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
And thou couldst see me sinning:
Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesus, so much in love with me,
Not for heaven’s sake;
Not to be out of hell by loving thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?
For being my king and God.
—St. Francis Xavier, translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!