Nehemiah and the Wall of Jerusalem
- Reading I: Nehemiah 2:1-8
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 137
- Gospel Reading: Luke 9:57-62
The Book of Nehemiah is usually read together with the Book of Ezra as one long book. Nehemiah 8–10 is considered part of the so-called “Ezra Source” (which includes Ezra 7–10), while Nehemiah 1–7 and 11–13 are from a separate source that scholars call the “Nehemiah Memoir.” The Nehemiah Memoir is written in the first person and recounts details of Nehemiah’s life, his deeds and his administration of the province, probably meant to serve as an official record of his accomplishments to be deposited in the Temple archives. The accounts are punctuated by prayers to God, such as “Remember for my good, O my God, all that I have done for this people” (Nehemiah 5:19).
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The Lord’s Either/Or
In view of the coming reign of God, all that constitutes a man’s security will have to go to second place. A similar passage is also found in Matthew ( Matthew 8:19-22). There, however, only two men are involved one of which is a scribe while the other is already a disciple. In Luke, the sayings are placed within the context of the journey to Jerusalem, symbol of the journey all disciples have to take. Further, the saying about the plow (v. 62) is found in Luke alone.
These sayings put into clear relief the previous call narratives. When the Lord called the fishermen, for example, it was for them to join him in a mission where no rest is guaranteed, and where family life will be set aside. The manner by which the Twelve and the Seventy are sent — without procured support — is the manner of those who proclaim the Good News of the reign of God. "No cloak, no stick, no money bag…" (cf. 10:4;9:3)
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