Ezekiel 28:1-10;(Psalm) Deuteronomy 32:26-28, 30, 35-36; Matthew 19:23-30
Saint John Eudes, Priest
A god am I! (Ezekiel 28:2)
Have you ever used the throne diagram? It’s a simple drawing of a circle, representing your life, with a chair at the center. Somewhere within the circle is the letter S (for “self”), along with a listing of the things you find most important: family, career, friends, sports, money, education, and so on. Inside or outside the circle is a cross. The point of the exercise is to discover: Who or what is on the throne of my life? If it’s Jesus (the cross), your priorities are in order, and your dying to self will be richly rewarded in God’s kingdom (Matthew 19:29). Put an S or anything else on that throne, though, and you’re playing with fire—a creature usurping the Creator’s place.
That’s what the prince of Tyre did. Here was a man “stamped with the seal of perfection, of complete wisdom and perfect beauty,” blessed with wealth and power (Ezekiel 28:12). He ruled over a seemingly impregnable island-city off the coast of modern Lebanon. With two harbors and a strategic location on the shipping route linking Egypt and Greece, Tyre prospered as a commercial hub. But success turned the head of its gifted prince. Believing himself to have “the mind of a god,” he pridefully assumed credit for God’s gifts and misused them (Ezekiel 28:6, 15-18). The Lord was not amused. As Ezekiel prophesied would happen, the splendid prince and his domain fell to Babylon in 573 b.c. after a thirteen-year siege.
Though none of us reading this would dare proclaim that we are “gods,” our thoughts and deeds may tell a different story. After all, claiming equality with God is the basic human sin (Genesis 3:5). Each of us has our own ways of falling into it. Even a saint like Bernadette could say, “My pride will die fifteen minutes after I do!”
If we recognize our weakness and keep our eyes on Jesus, though, there is nothing to fear. He loves us and can teach us how to become strong in him: by relying on his grace rather than our striving, by following his commands, by seeking his glory instead of our own, and by imitating his example of humble service.
All we have to do is keep him on the throne of our lives.
“Jesus, may everything about me shout to the heavens that you are Lord!”~WAU