Posted by: livingscripture | January 27, 2013

Third Sunday In Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

“All the people listened attentively to the book of the Law.”

(Nehemiah 8: 3) 

How should we live this Wordcrowds

The Liturgy rarely presents us with a reading from the Book of Nehemiah or Ezra, the scribe protagonist of the First Reading.  Descended from the priestly family and exiled in Babylon, Ezra dedicated his whole heart to the study of the Law of the Lord, to living it, and to teaching its laws and norms in Israel.  The Persian king orders him to do this in Palestine as well among those who had returned there after their years of hardship in exile.  They are about to take up their journey of faith and trust in the Lord once again.  Centuries before, the Lord had entrusted the Law to Moses but now their ears could no longer understand it.

All the people gathered at the temple’s Water Gate, readying themselves to listen to the Lord’s Word.  There were women and men and children old enough to understand.  Ezra begins with a blessing and the people respond ‘Amen’ and kneel, prostrating themselves before the Lord.  The reading commences and Ezra explains it so that all may understand.  This will continue the following day, but due to their attention and desire for renewal of the covenant, they already experience joy and they begin to praise the Lord.

It is not always easy to listen to the Lord’s Word or to understand it.  This is what happened in the synagogue at Nazareth when all ‘were amazed at His words’ and understood what He was saying.  He was the One sent to bring the Good News to the poor.  They needed to listen to His words and live them.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will listen to the Lord’s words and ask for the grace to understand their meaning in my daily life so that I too, may proclaim the Good News to all I meet. 

Lord, sustain me in seeking always to listen to Your Law.  Explain it to me and infuse it in my heart, that I may live it and proclaim it.  Let me praise You in the midst of the people.

The Voice of Raoul Follereau, Apostle to the Lepers

The mission is proclamation and witness, justice and solidarity, peace and respect for creation, dialogue among religions, listening to and reaching out to others.  It is Christ Jesus.


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