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EXEGESIS -- EZECHIEL.

EZECHIEL.

"And he brought me back to the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looked toward the east; and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut for the prince. The prince himself shall sit in it to eat bread before the Lord: he shall enter in by the porch of the gate, and shall go out the same way." -- xliv. 1-3.

"The prophet Ezechiel says that he saw the building of a city upon a very high mountain.* The city had many gates. Of these one is described as shut. What is this gate but Mary? And shut, because a Virgin. Mary then is the gate through which Christ came into this world, when He was shed forth by virginal birth, without loosing the bars of virginity. The enclosure of purity remained unscathed, and the seals of integrity were kept inviolate, as He went forth from the Virgin, whose sublimity is such that the world is unable to sustain it. This gate, it is said, shall be shut, it shall not be opened. A good gate is Mary, that was closed, and was not opened. By her Christ passed, but opened not. Now if we can show that every one has a gate, whereby Christ enters, as it is written: Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates, and the King of glory shall enter in,+ how much more is there a gate in Mary, in whom Christ sat, and from whom He went forth. For there is also the gate of the womb: whereof says holy Job, Let the stars of that night be darkened, because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb.++ There is then a gate of the womb, but not always shut. One alone could remain shut, through which with purity intact the Virgin's Offspring passed.... This gate looked toward the East, since it shed forth the true Light, gave birth to the Orient, and brought forth the Sun of Justice....

"A closed gate is virginity: an inclosed garden virginity, and a sealed fountain** virginity.... An inclosed garden thou art, O virgin. Keep thy fruits. Let not thorns rise upon thee, but let thy grapes flourish.... A paradise art thou, virgin: beware of Eve. A sealed fountain art thou, virgin. Let no one pollute thy waters, no one trouble them; that so thou mayest behold thine own image in thy fountain. A closed gate art thou, virgin. Let no one open thy gate, which once for all the Holy and True hath shut, He who holds the key of David, who opens and no one shuts; who shuts and no one opens."||

"Keep, then, with thee this fire in thy breast to quicken thee again to life; lest the cold of everlasting death creep over thee. That young man [i.e., Jesus Christ] cast Himself down, even He who came by Mary; and He was wont to infuse the heat of life into the breasts of His hearers....*** The King of Israel Himself passed through this gate, the Prince in person sat therein, when the Word was made flesh, and dwelt in us.+++


* Ezech. xl. 2.

+ Ps. xxiii. 7.

++ Job iii. 9, 10.

** Cant. iv. 12.

|| Apoc. iii. 7.

*** Luke xxiv. 32.

+++ John i. 14.

 

 

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