The Jews had turned away from God’s laws, and as a result, they were exiled. Now, that they have returned, the Israelite priest Ezra reminds the people that the most important thing for them to do -- as a nation -- is to adhere to the laws of God.
Ezra brings the law before the assembly of the people, and reads out of the book from daybreak until midday. All the people listened attentively while bowing down and prostrating themselves before the Lord.
|Fr John Paul Shea|
In fact, we live in a nation that was founded on God’s laws! But prayer was removed from the public schools. The Ten Commandments Monument was ripped from the Alabama Judicial Building! Abortion was legalized in 1973, and since then 58 million Americans have been killed in the womb. We can see the effects of our disregard for God’s laws in the violence in our cities and the broken homes of the lost children across the nation.
We can cut down on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere all we want, but if we do not follow God’s laws, everything else we do is done in vain!
|Number of Abortions since 1973 are equal to the population of these U.S. states|
such a relationship "marriage." This is more than enough to force God to intervene in our world for the wellbeing of humanity. And He will intervene!
We hear Catholics who say that the Church should not focus exclusively on issues such as abortion or same sex "marriage." Yes, the Church needs to serve the poor. But, sins of the flesh are destroying more souls and disrupting families, creating more poor single households. Our Lady of Fatima told the children, “More souls go to Hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason!”
God has revealed Himself to us! He has taught us His laws. His Word doesn’t change.
In the past, peoples encountered hardship because they turned away from God’s laws. So will our peoples today suffer many troubles if we do not place God in the center of our hearts.
“[God] has anointed [Him] to bring glad tidings to the poor… to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Isaiah 61:1)
My brothers and sisters, today’s readings emphasize to us that God has visited His people. He has given us His Word. He has given us His commandments! And, He has sent us His Son to free us from sin and heal us of the burdens we place upon ourselves.
We must follow God’s teachings! We must listen to God’s Word. We must share God’s Word with others. This is our job as Christians!
This is the Year of Mercy! God is merciful. But if we fail to grasp that mercy and listen to God, the Scriptures are full of the stories of the struggles the people of God faced when they hardened their hearts.
The godless society of today will falter, but if we stay close to Our Lord, we shall hold firm. As the Israelites in today’s first reading prostrated themselves before the Word of God, so too we must humble ourselves ourselves before God!