Mass Readings: Ezekiel 37:21/John 11:45-56

Exile

In today’s first reading, the prophet Ezekiel consoles his fellow exiles by foretelling the restoration of Israel. “[A]nd I will ... put my sanctuary among them forever” (Ez 37:26), declares the Lord. This refers to both the earthly Temple, destroyed by the Babylonians, and the heavenly Temple, described by John in Revelation 21.

Shortly after my brain-tumor diagnosis, I rediscovered the African-American hymn, “Walk in Jerusalem, Just like John,” as sung by a group that had been among my favorites for years, The Blind Boys of Alabama. Listening to it over and over lifted my spirits, reminding me both of the city in the Holy Land I longed to see again before I died and the heavenly city that I thought at the time imminently awaited me (after some sort of purgation, of course).

Prayer: Jersusalem, in my exile, let me never forget you.