The Word of the Lord Is Perfect
If today was not the feast of the Archangels, we would be reading from the Thursday of 26th Week.
- Reading I: Nehemiah 8:1-12
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18
- Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-10
The Liturgy of the Word
Nehemiah 8:1-12 is about the liturgy of the Word that the Jews celebrate for the first time after their return, with Ezra presiding. The Five Scrolls of Moses was completed during the time of the Exile and was brought by Ezra upon his return to Jerusalem. With the destruction of the Temple, a new form of worship emerged, that of the synagogue. Here it is not sacrifices nor the holocaust which is at the center but the Word of God.
Ezra read from Hebrew while the assigned Levites translated for the people to understand. What was done in that Jewish assembly centuries ago is a paradigm for the way we listen to the Scriptures in the Liturgy of the Word.
The Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 18) is a praise for the Torah and the qualities that make for a devout hasid who puts the Word of God above his desires.
The Sending of the Seventy-two
The sending of the Seventy (Two) can be found in Luke alone. As in the previous case of the Ten Leper, Luke makes use of recollections of Jesus sending out emissaries or advance parties as a narrative framework within which he locates the theological basis of his experience of the vibrant missionary Church during his time (The letters of Paul and Acts witness to the exuberance and vivaciousness of Christian missionary activities). The number Seventy (Two) is more theological rather than historical. The number corresponds to the number of nations as found in Genesis 10:2-32
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