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WEDNESDAY OF THE TWENTY‐FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Ezra 9: 5‐9;

Tobit 13: 2, 3‐4a, 4befghn, 7‐8;

Luke 9: 1‐6


THE HUMILITY OF A SINNER OPENS THE DOOR OF FREEDOM


The thing that God detests so much is pride in sin – that is a proud sinner. 1 Peter 5:5 says the God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. The Psalmist says that when he concealed his sins his bones wasted away but when he confessed his sins God removed the guilt of his sin (Ps 32:1,3,5).


My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today as we are reminded of God’s love and kindness, His ever‐present compassion and care for us, and His desire to be reunited with us, so that we who are sinners may be forgiven our sins, and receive from Him healing from our corruptions and sickness due to those sins, and that we may be reconciled and reunited with Him, that we may find our way back to Him, to be once again in His grace and presence.


We are all called to recall what we heard in our first reading today from the Book of the prophet Ezra, who was a priest of God that was instrumental in leading the remnants of the people of God in the days of their return from their exile in the land of Babylon and Assyria. King Cyrus of Persia had declared emancipation or liberation for all the Israelites to be able to go free to their homeland after having suffered in exile for many decades from the tyranny of the Babylonians who destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple.

Ezra was a priest and leader of the people who led them in their prayers and supplications before the Lord. Imagine the pain and consternation that those exiles might have experienced when they saw their homeland again for the first time after many decades. Most of them would not even have known or had any memories of living there before their exile, but they must have heard the tales of their historic homeland from their elders and parents, who shared with them the tales of the old kingdoms of Israel and Judah, of Jerusalem and its glorious Temple, built by King Solomon.


When the descendants of those who were exiled arrived back in their ancestral homeland, what awaited them was likely mere ruins, as Jerusalem was thoroughly looted and ransacked by the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon during its conquest.


The Temple was destroyed and nothing much was left of the great House of God that was once there. It was with this context that the prophet Ezra spoke on behalf of the people, as their High Priest before the Lord, in supplication for them seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness for the sins they and their ancestors had committed.


For it was because of the disobedience of the Israelites that they had fallen in disgrace and were conquered and overcome by their enemies and were bereft of their homeland. The destruction of the Temple built by Solomon to be the House of the Lord was a very visible sign of God’s displeasure and also their abandonment of Him. It was not God Who abandoned His people, for in truth, He has always been with them despite their constant and persistent refusal to obey Him or listen to Him through the words of His many prophets. It was the people who chose to follow the path of sin and Satan’s lies rather than God’s truth.


Hence, Ezra offered before the Lord on behalf of the people a public admission of sinfulness and the deep remorse that they all had on the sins they had committed and which their ancestors had stubbornly done against the Lord and His loving kindness.


Ezra pleaded with the Lord to restore His people and to show them once again the same love that He has always shown to them from the very beginning. In time to come, the Temple of God would be rebuilt again in Jerusalem, under the supervision of Ezra and Nehemiah, another faithful servant of God entrusted with the care of the people.


Dear friend, are you still hiding your sins from God? Confess with all humility and you shall see the door of favour and freedom coming your way!



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