First reading: NEH 8:1-4A, 5-6, 7B-12
The reading of the Mosaic law came at a great point of celebration for the Israelites, yet also one of great repentance. Nehemiah had led the last group of Israelites out of their Babylonian exile and a nation saved from oppression by the grace of God was ready to rededicate themselves to the Lord. I can only imagine how powerful the scene was as Ezra read God’s law to all the people as an entire nation was bowed down to God and their hearts receptive to what was being spoken. Often it feels in today’s world with all the negative events surrounding us it looks bleak for the future of the church, it all begins with an understanding of God’s great holiness and making our hearts open to hear his Word. I want my life to be like that of the Israelites where I am so awed by God I can’t help but rejoice at his Word and bow down and worship.
Responsorial Psalm: PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11
It’s so easy to look at Christianity and see an endless list of “rules” we are commanded to follow. But to view it that way is selling God so incredibly short. Nothing that God has outlined for us has any other purpose but to bring us benefit and a closer relationship with Him. His law is perfect, trustworthy, right, true, and more precious than gold. God seeks to draw us nearer to Him through his laws and precepts, not create an irreconcilable separation. They allow us to live life to the fullest and reach our greatest heights, and gives us strength and peace even in the face of life’s adversities.
Evangelizing can either be one of the most exciting or terrifying experiences for a Christian. The amount of faith in the early disciples to not only be told of what hardship lied ahead of them but to take nothing with them, and still go out and preach the message of Jesus Christ is truly exemplary. But one of the key things that has endured even from Jesus’ time to ours is that the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. There are so many people who desperately need to hear the word of Jesus Christ, yet due to the lack of laborers remain unknowing. The gospel message won’t always necessarily be received with open arms, but God doesn’t always require wondrous and miraculous things from us. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of planting the seed and letting the Holy Spirit work. Bringing someone to Christ is far and away one of the most fulfilling aspects of life for a Christian, and one that is unequaled when experienced. But most importantly, you never know what great things God has in store until the initial step is taken to share His message.