Imagine the ground Ezekiel walked. There are bones spread across a flatland stretching in all directions. No one buried these bones. No one protected them from scavengers or thieves.  They baked in the beating sun for months, maybe years, forgotten by all.  These are the bones of Israel, the bones of faith.

At first, this reading seems an odd choice for a Marian feast, but underneath the eerie imagery, is a profound statement.

The grim details of Ezekiel’s vision aren’t as much about Israel as they are about God, about the unimaginable vastness of God’s love.  For this God – this love God – will not just give the bones life, this God will give them his own life.  Today’s celebration is not just about Mary, but it’s about us.  It’s about how when our faith is an expanse of dry bones, God does more than send life. God reanimates us with God’s very self.

Take a moment to remember a time when God reawakened your faith, return to that grace, and offer a prayer of gratitude.

—Mark Bartholet works at St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC, but is grateful to the parish of Our Lady of Victory in Tallmadge, OH, where his faith was first awakened.