The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite. As for your birth, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you out of compassion for you; but you were thrown out in the open field, for you were abhorred on the day you were born.
I passed by you, and saw you flailing about in your blood. As you lay in your blood, I said to you, “Live! and grow up like a plant of the field.” You grew up and became tall and arrived at full womanhood; your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare. I passed by you again and looked on you; you were at the age for love.
I spread the edge of my cloak over you, and covered your nakedness: I pledged myself to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off the blood from you, and anointed you with oil. I clothed you with embroidered cloth and with sandals of fine leather; I bound you in fine linen and covered you with rich fabric. I adorned you with ornaments: I put bracelets on your arms, a chain on your neck, a ring on your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown upon your head.
You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, rich fabric, and embroidered cloth. You had choice flour and honey and oil for food. You grew exceedingly beautiful, fit to be a queen. Your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of my splendor that I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God.
But you trusted in your beauty, and played the whore because of your fame, and lavished your whorings on any passer-by. Yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish with you an everlasting covenant. in order that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I forgive you all that you have done, 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.
We have so much. Even when we’re not aware of it, we have been given everything we have. God reminds the inhabitants of Jerusalem (i.e., us today) that God has given us untold riches in all that we have. How wonderful are the gifts of our intellects and talents, that have produced innovations and works of art to advance our human culture; what a joy it is to experience a fine meal or a relaxing vacation; how peaceful it is to follow the impulses of our hearts toward generosity and charity! All of these things God has robed us in, has bestowed upon us to make us shine in splendor.
How often do we consider that all we have is given to us by God who loves us and treasures us beyond measure? To what do we dedicate our gifts in the service of throughout this day?
—Ken Weber is a University Minister in the Department of Student Life and Ministry at Loyola University New Orleans.
Lord, keep me ever mindful of your continuous generosity to us, your children. Inspire me to use the gifts you have given me for the benefit of others.
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