The four living creatures (Ezek 1:5-1:7)

“In the middle of it

Was something

Like four living creatures.

This was their appearance.

They were of human form.

Each had four faces.

Each of them had four wings.

Their legs were straight.

The soles of their feet were

Like the sole of a calf’s foot.

They sparkled

Like burnished bronze.”

Ezekiel had this colorful vision of 4 living creatures in the middle of this cloud. They appeared to have human forms. However, each of them had 4 faces and 4 wings. They had straight legs, but the soles of their feet were like that of a calf’s foot. They seemed to sparkle like bronze. Thus they were human like, but had wings and strange feet, perhaps like an angel of some kind.

Fear of the Lord (Sir 34:14-34:20)

“The spirit of those

Who fear the Lord

Will live.

Their hope is in him

Who saves them.

Those who fear the Lord

Will not be timid.

They will not play the coward.

He is their hope.

Happy is the soul

That fears the Lord!

To whom does he look?

Who is his support?

The eyes of the Lord

Are on those who love him.

The Lord is a mighty shield.

The Lord is a strong support.

The Lord is a shelter

From the scorching wind.

The Lord is a shade

From the noonday sun.

The Lord is a guard

Against stumbling.

The Lord is a help

Against falling.

He lifts up the soul.

He makes the eyes sparkle.

He gives health.

He gives life.

He gives blessings.”

Sirach emphasizes the importance of fearing God with its consequences. Those who fear the Lord will live. They have hope that the Lord will save them. They will not be cowards or timid. The reason for their hope is that the Lord supports them. He loves them since he is like a shield. He provides shelter for them against the hot winds and shade against the hot midday sun. The Lord keeps them from stumbling or falling. He lifts up their souls as he makes their eyes sparkle. He gives them health, life and blessings. A lot of good things happen when you fear the Lord.