January 27, 2019
(3rd Sunday Ordinary Time, C)
Then Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and Ezra the priest-scribe and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all the people: “Today is holy to the LORD your God. Do not be sad, and do not weep,” for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law. He said further: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks, and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared; for today is holy to our LORD. Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!” Neh_8:2-4a,5-6,8-10
Sometimes, beloved, those words we hear at Mass just might illuminate some guilt we may have for wrong-doings that we didn’t even realize we had done. Sometimes they may bring us intense Joy for what people in the past had done for us. And sometimes we may just get stuck on one word that sparks our curiosity, that answers some deep question we’ve pondered for years, or even brings us much, much closer to Jesus than we ever thought possible. These were the intense feelings the Israelites, in return from exile, were feeling, as, for many of them, this was the first time they ever heard the words of God as transmitted by Moses and their forefathers.
Then after making it through the readings, just like our Mass, the Israelites celebrated the Joy of the Sabbath, or our Sunday, with a meal. What richer food, or what sweeter drink is there than our Eucharistic, Body and Blood of Jesus. It truly is not a time of mourning or sadness. Sunday is our time of exorbitant celebration, for on it our Lord and Savior was resurrected. And through that act, we have the hope of resurrection and eternal life that makes our lives as sweet as the Eucharist we partake in.
Praise be to God!
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