I would like to call the first reading the “Will-Shall Reading” for Twenty-three times I counted either ‘Will’ or ‘Shall’ in the reading . In other words, God is giving the Israelites, who are now in exile and completely destroyed as a nation a new beginning, He ‘will’ do it, He ‘shall’ do it… but more importantly for them – the fulfilment of His covenantal Promise.
If God gave you one wish for the future, what would you ask for?
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PRAYER: Lord Open My Heart As I Read Your Word. Amen.
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:21-28: ‘A Will – Shall Reading’
21 Then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land; 22and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. 23They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 24“My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. 25They shall dwell in the land where your fathers dwelt that I gave to my servant Jacob; they and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there for ever; and David my servant shall be their prince for ever. 26I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28Then the nations will know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in the midst of them for evermore.”
Gospel: John 11:45-56
45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him; 46but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” 49But one of them, Ca’iaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all; 50you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” 51He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, 52and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death. 54Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called E’phraim; and there he stayed with the disciples. 55Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”