Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
September 25, 2019
Today, in Mercy, Ezra carries on his shoulders the whole repentant nation of Israel. He is bent in “shame and humiliation” for them as he begins his prayer for God’s mercy.
It is a highly dramatic prayer, ripping out from Ezra’s soul. He not only wants to get God’s attention. Ezra wants to make an indelible impression on the community he prays for.
Picture the scene as you wish. What comes to my imagination, (although somewhat sacrilegious) is something like a James Brown brand of intensity:
God doesn’t shout back an answer to Ezra’s expressive prayer. Instead, we get the sense of God’s still, eternal Presence waiting for Israel’s eyes to clear in recognition, like finally seeing the mountain peak through the mist:
And now, but a short time ago,
mercy came to us from the LORD, our God,
who left us a remnant
and gave us a stake in his holy place;
thus our God has brightened our eyes
and given us relief in our servitude.
“ …God has given us a stake in his holy place”….
That place is ever-present,
– always awaiting us
if we can clear our hearts to see it.
Once we do see the faithfulness of God, we are ready to chance the journey Jesus invites us to in today’s Gospel:
Take nothing for the journey ….
set out and go from village to village
proclaiming the good news
and restoring wholeness everywhere.
Music: Great Is Thy Faithfulness – written by Thomas O. Chisholm.
Sung here by AustinStoneWorship – Jaleesa McCreary (Note the sweet smile on her beautiful face just before she begins to sing. Grace!)