Grace to you!
In Ezra, chapter nine, verses five through nine, we read the response of the people of Israel to the grace of rebuilding the temple that God granted to them through the instrumentality of foreign kings. Ezra led them in a public prayer of gratitude.
The prayer could be divided into two parts. The first part was acknowledgement of the fact that it was their sins which led them to live like slaves in a foreign land. Second, it was the mercy of God that brought them back, using unexpected channels to restore them to glory.
A lesson about the mercy of God, a follow-up to what I shared last Sunday: When God forgives and shows mercy, He restores us to the joy of worship, the joy of glory. The temple was the symbol of highest worship for the people of God. It was a mirror of the heavenly Jerusalem when our joy will know no bounds. For Israel, at the time, it was particularly their glory. When it was rebuilt, their glory was restored.
Because of these, Ezra and the people gave thanks. Their prayer was an act of gratitude for the graciousness of God to His people.
How I wish for every thing—small or great—we give thanks and acknowledge we have received so much. This is why I am always ecstatic about the Mass because in it I’m offered the opportunity to offer back to God a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for granting me, and many, the opportunity and joy of salvation.
At the Eucharist, all we do is “Give Thanks.” Give thanks for salvation in Christ. Give thanks for grace and all the heavenly blessings God has bestowed on us in Christ (Eph 1:3, 6).
Develop an attitude of gratitude in good times and in bad knowing that, as Scripture says, “to them that love God all things work together unto good” (Rm 8:28, Douay-Rheims).
Celebrate every opportunity while alive in the joy of the Lord. Let our joy be to praise God. For praise is blessing.
Praying that God will fill our hearts with enduring sentiments of gratitude. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 25 A: Ez 9:5-9; Lk 9:1-6]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.