Reflection on first reading “The Pledge” Aug 13 Come make the Pledge

The LORD cried loud for me to hear: Come, you scourges of the city! With that I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate which faces the north, each with a destroying weapon in his hand. In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer’s case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him:Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it. To the others I heard the LORD say: Pass through the city after him and strike! Do not look on them with pity nor show any mercy! Old men, youths and maidens, women and children–wipe them out! But do not touch any marked with the “Thau”; begin at my sanctuary. So they began with the men, the elders, who were in front of the temple. Defile the temple, he said to them, and fill the courts with the slain; then go out and strike in the city.

Then the glory of the LORD left the threshold of the temple and rested upon the cherubim. These lifted their wings, and I saw them rise from the earth, the wheels rising along with them. They stood at the entrance of the eastern gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was up above them.Then the cherubim lifted their wings, and the wheels went along with them, while up above them was the glory of the God of Israel.(Ezekiel 9:1-7 10: 18-22)

The catechism quotes, “In their midst was a man dressed in linen, with a writer’s case at his waist. They entered and stood beside the bronze altar. Then he called to the man dressed in linen with the writer’s case at his waist, saying to him: Pass through the city, through Jerusalem,and mark a “Thau” on the foreheads of those who moan and groan” in it section on the sacrament on confirmation. The catechism also refers to verses from the book of revelation in reference to this pledge of divine protection.

We read in the catechism, “This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service for ever, as well as the promise of divine protection in his great eschatological trial. (1296)”

When you were sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit at confirmation you were given a pledge of divine protection. Again we read in the first reading, “But do not touch and marked with the ‘Thau; begin at the sanctuary.” The book of revelation says, ” Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called out with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power of harm earth and sea, saying ‘Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God upon their forehead. (Rev 7:2-4)”

In all my years as a priests I don’t think I have ever heard a bishop or priest or anyone talk about this aspect of the sacrament of confirmation.

Though for the day: When you received the sacrament of confirmation. You also received a pledge of divine protection. Today in your prayer stand firm in the truth that you have received this pledge of protection.

Prayer by Father Stefan

In the company of all the angels and saints

I stand firm in the truth that I have received the pledge of divine protection by virtue of my confirmation.

I am sealed with the Holy Spirit

Any power of the enemy you have no power over me

No evil can touch those marked with the sign of the cross

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