25th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 25th September 2023

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Lord, help me to be open to your Word proclaimed in the Bible

25th Week in Ordinary Time : Monday 25th September 2023

Ezr. 1:1-6; Ps. 125:1-3,4-5,6;
Lk. 8:16-18 (Ps. Wk. I)

The setting in the Book of Ezra is the two hundred periods in which God’s people were citizens of the Persian empire. The Persian period began in 539 BC when Cyrus the Great gained control of the ancient Near Eastern world from the Babylonians. The edict authorising the Jewish exiles’ return was issued around 538 AD.

It was the policy of Cyrus to allow people exiled by the Babylonians to return to their homeland, build new lives, and revive their native customs and religions. It aimed to win the trust and loyalty of the subjects, who, through securing their own welfare, could live as productive and content citizens of the empire.

In the eyes of the Jews, it is God who inspired Cyrus to issue the edict. Cyrus was considered the one through whom God’s plan for Israel’s release would be realised. In calling attention to the fulfilment of God’s Word, the writer of the Book of Ezra wishes to show that the events of salvation history take momentum and direction from God’s power-filled Word.

The parable of the lamp in the Gospel is applied to the revelation of the “mysteries of the kingdom” (Lk. 8: 10). God desires for the proclamation of Jesus, presently “hidden and secretive”, to go out into the world. Jesus urges His disciples “to take care what you hear”, for those who are open to the Word of God will be blessed in the life it engenders and nourishes. However, those who do not listen will find their spiritual life wither.

Lord, help me listen to Your word always.

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