Keeping the Word Central

Keeping the Word Central

The first reading takes place at the end of the Babylonian captivity of the Israelites: the heads of several families had accompanied Ezra, a priest and scribe, back to Jerusalem some short time ago. The seventh month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical year is also the first month of their civil year. Much like January for us, I suspect this was a time of much planning for the year ahead, even more so considering their home was in ruins. The ceremony in the first reading represents a culmination of Ezra’s attempts to restore hope to all those who have returned to Israel, by using the only constant that they have known – God’s Law as shared with them by Moses. Christ exists as the culmination of Isaiah’s prophecy in the second reading – the realization of the Word in the flesh. Much like the Jewish people returning to their homes, we are called to listen to the Word when things are difficult, when we have a long road ahead. The Word being made flesh is the fruit of God’s love and joy for us. But how can we spread this joy swelling from within? If you’ve been following the new releases on Netflix, you’ve likely heard of Marie Kondo, a Japanese ‘declutterer consultant’ who has sparked a decluttering craze. Part of her cleaning method, the Konmari Method, involves taking each item, and considering whether it brings you joy or sparks within you a great feeling. If the item doesn’t ‘spark joy’, you thank the item and then discard of it (hopefully by donating!). Scripture, too, is meant to spark within us something profound; God’s joy and love comes to us through the Word made flesh, through Christ. Much like decluttering, bringing this joy into the world is a step by step process. Day by day, attention to the Word will bring us closer to the joy revealed in the Gospel today.

Sunday’s Readings:

  • Nehemiah 8.2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
  • Psalm 19
  • 1 Corinthians 12.12-30
  • Luke 1.1-4; 4.14-21