A warning from God to proud, false shepherds September 10, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Bible, catachesis, different religion, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the return, the struggle for the Church.
From Ezechiel chapter XXXIV. I add some comments for context, but I think the text largely self-explanatory.
Background – the Jews were constantly falling into heresy and idolatry through their associating with members of foreign, satanic religions (an interesting commentary on ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, no?). They intermarried and under various influences embraced the barbaric, demonic practices of the religions of Ba’al and other false gods. This included sacrificing their own infant children to a supposed god of fertility, burning them to death in the arms of a brass idol heated to terrific temperature by fires lit for the purpose (shades of our rampant abortion, today). After several hundred years of disasters, prophetic warnings, and God literally begging his people to stop, He finally had enough and allowed the Assyrians under Nebuchadnezzar to crush them. Some of the worst fates were reserved for the priests and Levites who had not only tolerated this heresy but often taken part in them, as well.
I’ll let the great prophet Ezechiel take it from there:
1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2 Son of man, prophesy concerning the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to the shepherds: Thus saith the Lord God: *Wo to the shepherds of Israel, that fed themselves: should not the flocks be fed by the shepherds?
3 You eat the milk, and you clothed yourselves with the wool, and you killed that which was fat: but my flock you did not feed. [Seeking to serve themselves and please the powers of the world, they allowed their flock to starve, spiritually. That was a significant factor, according to the inspired Word of God, in the Israeli’s falling into idolatry and even apostasy]
4 The weak you have not strengthened, and that which was sick you have not healed; that which was broken you have not bound up, and that which was driven away you have not brought again, neither have you sought that which was lost: but you ruled over them with rigour, and with a high hand. [They enforced cold, man-made laws that did not instill a love of God in souls but just a rigorous following of rules. But most of all, they left people in ignorance and false practice, afraid of displeasing men rather than God by telling people to stop their wicked ways. The parallels to today should be readily apparent]
5 And my sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.
6 My sheep have wandered in every mountain, and in every high hill; and my flocks were scattered upon the face of the earth, and there was none that sought them; there was none, I say, that sought them. [How many millions have wandered from the Church during the reign of the false “spirit of Vatican II?” It must be in the hundreds of millions by now, with tens of millions pouring out of the Church and into the sects (esp. in Latin America), seeking even the fake, moldy bread of protestantism to the dust and ashes they have been “fed” by so many wayward shepherds in the Church. And yet these shepherds proclaim the leftism and worldliness they offer a banquet, pretending it is a gourmet feast, as the spiritual skeletons drag themselves away seeking something, anything to fill themselves with]
7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
8 As I live, saith the Lord God, forasmuch as my flocks have been made a spoil, and my sheep are become a prey to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd; for my shepherds did not seek after my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flocks:
9 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
10 Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I myself come upon the shepherds, I will require my flock at their hand, and I will cause them to cease from feeding the flock any more; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more: and I will deliver my flock from their mouth, and it shall no more be meat for them.
[And yet we must have hope, for Our Lord will not leave us abandoned if we remain faithful……]
11 For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I myself will seek my sheep, and will visit them.
12 As the shepherd visiteth his flock, in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered; so will I visit my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered, in the cloudy and dark day.
13 And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the countries, and will bring them to their own land; and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land:
14 I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel; there shall they rest on the green grass, and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel.
15 I will feed my sheep: and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God
16 I will seek that which was lost; and that which was driven away, I will bring again; and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve: and I will feed them in judgment.
17 And as for you, O my flocks, thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, of rams and of he-goats. [According to Fr. George Leo Haydock, who compiled this excellent study bible: “The crimes of the pastors do not excuse the flock.” This is a most excellent warning. I know many good souls who piously hope that the fact that so many souls are left ignorant of many aspects of the Faith will excuse them from their sins. And it might, for some. But much of the moral law is plainly evident from the natural law (such as not killing your own offspring), and the natural law is given to all who have the faculty of reason, or can be plainly arrived at by anyone with a modicum of discernment. In such areas, proclaiming ignorance of the law may be no defense.]
18 Was it not enough for you to feed upon good pastures? but you must also tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures: and when you drank the clearest water, you troubled the rest with your feet. [A warning for those who destroy or waste the great spiritual gifts they are given, lay or clerical. But this is especially intended for the false shepherds, the wolves in sheep’s clothing]
19 And my sheep were fed with that which you had trodden with your feet; and they drank what your feet had troubled.
20 Therefore, thus saith the Lord God to you: Behold, I myself will judge between the fat cattle and the lean.
21 Because you thrusted with sides and shoulders, and struck all the weak cattle with your horns, till they were scattered abroad.
22 I will save my flock, and it shall be no more a spoil; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
23 *And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd……..
Obviously, this Scripture from the Old Testament has to do with the fall of Israel, their subsequent chastisement by God, and the coming of the Messiah. But we must keep in mind that so many Old Testament texts, and especially the prophetic ones like this, are types not only of the New Testament but also for the New Covenant. That is to say, while this hard rebuff and chastisement from God was certainly intended for the Levites and priests of the Old Covenant day, they also apply to the priests and bishops of the New Covenant. Christ will come again. And I fear Our Blessed Lord’s telling question “Yet the Son of Man, when he cometh, shall He find, think you, faith on the earth?” (Lk xviii:18) was rhetorical. I think Our Lord was telling us that there would not be much faith in those coming days.
Let us not be among the sheep of the flock who wander away due to wayward pastors! Let us always remain faithful to Holy Mother Church, no matter how deranged those appointed to shepherd souls may become. I like Saint Corbinian Bear’s phrase: nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there. I know we sometimes have to find parishes that best meet our spiritual needs, and those of our family, but you get the point.
Pray fervently for our pastors! To those to whom much have been given, much will be required! (Lk xii:48)! But one major reason for the lack of leadership in the Church could be lack of prayers by the faithful on their behalf. Absolutely pray for good pastors, but also pray, perhaps even more, for the conversion of those who are not so good.