SOOOO, Ezekiel is not my favorite book of the Bible.
Like many of the books, it has lists of things people did or didn’t do that was contrary to God and they either repented and lived or regretted it and died. But Ezekiel… it’s just hard to read, right now.
My brain is not yet ready to get wrapped around all this just yet, or I’m too distracted. Could be any number of reasons. At any rate, in class, we started discussing our church and our adoration chapel and the architectural details in both.
In all of that discussion, I was reminded of how much I love our little adoration chapel. I haven’t been in a while. But one of the ladies brought up how others envision Jesus in the chapel.
I had always thought I was the odd one out. You see when I was in RCIA many years ago and I had to choose my patron saint I chose St. Mary Magdalene. And when I did the question was “why”?
I chose her because she was low, she was a sinner, and regardless SHE was the first to see Jesus out of the tomb. she was at one time a fallen woman, people saw through her or looked down on her but Jesus did not, and she followed him. And she was faithful to him. And when he rose from the tomb, HE CHOSE HER, a low sinner woman, to be the first to see him.
And when I was done telling “why” I chose her I felt the weight of an arm around my shoulder, and when I looked at who was hugging me, I knew then, it was Jesus. I am a sinner, I had/have done things I am not proud of. They were not the same sins as Mary Magdalene, but there have been times when I felt that low. There have been times when I was looked “through” and looked down on but right then, right there, I was also chosen. As we all are.
When I sit in our little adoration chapel, that is how I envision Jesus. Sitting right there with me, with his arm around my shoulders. Others envision him on the altar, or kneeling in prayer, in the art of the stained glass, in the beauty of the building itself… I never imagined all the ways people feel close to Jesus there.
I cry like a baby when I tell that story. And the instructor asked if I had seen what we were supposed to read today. No, I admitted. I had a hard enough time trying to get through the homework on the first part of Ezekiel… like I said, it’s not my favorite book. I try to read ahead, but after finishing that homework just a short time before class I wasn’t about to try to dive in for more. Anyway, the instructor said, “chapter 18 has your name written all over it.” LOL, She wasn’t kidding, but this one – this struck me until I smiled from every part of my being.
But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
Here’s the thing, I’ve done some things I regret, who hasn’t? But those things that I regret led me to where I am. I like where I am. I am learning, changing, improving, aging. I am not stuck. I am not staying the same. I am who I am because I made mistakes, and learned from them. I am loved. I am not done, and therefore I am not dead. I’m very much alive! And I’m forever working on a greater goal. I will fail, I will succeed. But at the end of the day, all those little regrets I have won’t amount to much because I will not regret my life as a whole. And because that is when the real living begins.
If you go to adoration, or not, how and when do you envision Jesus?