Ezekiel, Chapter 30, Verse 13
13 Thus says the Lord GOD: I will destroy idols, and put an end to images in Memphis. There will never again be a prince over the land of Egypt. Instead, I will spread fear throughout the land of Egypt.
Ancient Egypt was a magnificent civilization, until it suddenly vanished in the sixth century B.C...
A Base Nation
In chapters 29 and 30 of Ezekiel, we read of God sending the Prophet Ezekiel to deliver a crucial message to Egypt. “Set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt,” God instructs Ezekiel, “and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt” (Ezekiel 29:2). The biblical record shows that Ezekiel was dispatched to Egypt and that he delivered his message to Pharaoh Apries (Hophra in Hebrew), the fourth king of the 26th dynasty of Egypt. Egypt was a powerful, influential civilization. In fact, Egypt’s presence was so impressive, Apries, thought himself king of the world, as powerful as God Himself. Pharaoh Apries considered the Nile River, the source of Egypt’s material greatness, to be his own creation, and he declared himself the god of the Nile. Drunk on arrogance, Apries had lost sight of Egypt’s history with God and the Israelites. So God dispatched Ezekiel to warn Apries of where his egotism was leading and to tell him that God would expose and destroy him, and that in Egypt’s devastation the world would learn the ultimate source of Egypt’s power. In verse 3, God tells Ezekiel: “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” God was going to show Pharaoh Apries exactly who created the Nile and gave Egypt all its power. In verse 4, God tells the pharaoh, “I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.” God said He would expose Pharaoh Apries as a fraud—much like He had exposed the gods of Egypt during the 10 plagues nearly a thousand years earlier! God continues His warning in verses 8-10: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The River is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.” In verse 19, Ezekiel even reveals to Apries that he would be attacked by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In scripture after scripture of chapters 29 and 30, God warns the pharaoh that Egypt’s destruction at the hands of the Babylonians and Persians would be so disastrous that it would never fully recover! Then, in verse 15, God makes a prophecy that would change Egypt forever. Regarding Egypt’s future after the destruction, He says explicitly: “It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them that they shall no more rule over the nations.” God couldn’t have been clearer: He promised that after the sixth century B.C. Egypt would never again be a major ruling power!
First Saturday Devotion
Five consecutive Saturdays in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The practice of the First Saturday devotion was requested by Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, multiple times starting in 1917. She said to Lucia, the oldest of the three children: “I shall come to ask . . . that on the First Saturday of every month, Communions of reparation be made in atonement for the sins of the world.” Years later she repeated her request to Sr. Lucia, the only one still living of the three young Fatima seers, while she was a postulant sister living in a convent in Spain: “Look, my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at very moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Conditions to Fulfill the First Saturday Devotion
There are five requirements to obtain this promise from the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On five consecutive first Saturdays of the month, one should:
1. Have the intention of consoling the Immaculate Heart in a spirit of reparation.
2. Go to confession (within eight days before or after the first Saturday).
3. Receive Holy Communion.
4. Say five decades of the Holy Rosary.
5. Meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the goal of keeping Our Lady company (for example, while in church or before an image or statue of Our Lady).
Read How to Make Your First Saturday Rosary Meditation According to Sr. Lucia
Why Five Saturdays?
1. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception
2. Blasphemies against Our Lady’s perpetual virginity
3. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize her as the Mother of men
4. Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children, indifference or scorn or even hatred of their Immaculate Mother
5. Offenses of those who outrage Our Lady directly in her holy images
Never think that Jesus is indifferent to whether or not His mother is honored!
Reflect today on what it took to make Christ the gentle shepherd of our souls!
The Power that Regenerates the World
Earthly history and the workings of the cosmos undoubtedly continue their course and are not identified with the rate at which the Kingdom of Christ develops. In fact, pain, evil, sin, death, yet claim their victims, in spite of the resurrection of Christ. The cycle of one thing succeeding another, the cycle of becoming, is not at a standstill. If it were, history would be at an end! And so facts and events are continually being repeated and give rise to thoughts of an irremediable conflict here on earth between the two kingdoms, or, as St. Augustine said, between the two cities. Think, for example, of the contrast which is to be found in this Holy Year between celebrations of the Redemption on the one hand and on the other hand the offenses against God, the misdeeds committed against man and, at bottom, the challenges to Christ which are continually being launched. This is the most impressive aspect, the most mysterious dimension of the historic dialectic between the forces of good and the forces of evil: the fact that obstacles are raised or indifference is shown to the forces of Redemption let into the world by Christ through his Resurrection as the principle which resolves the conflict between death and life. The world is in need, today as yesterday, for the "new people" to remain in its midst, among the vicissitudes, the conflicts, the variations which not seldom lead to situations which are so difficult, sometimes even dramatic. The world has need of this people which will dedicate itself with humility, courage and perseverance to service of the Redemption and give concrete form, in good Christian conduct, to the regenerating power of Christ's resurrection. This is the function which Christians have as evangelizers and witnesses to the Resurrection in history.
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