Day 279: Blessings and Burdens

Nehemiah 11:1 As the Jews returned to their homeland, they resettled Jerusalem and the greater land of Judah. It was a joyous occasion accompanied by prayers and singing as the wall of Jerusalem was solemnly dedicated. (CCC 2580)

Esther 8:1-12 Under Persian Law, the edicts of the king could not be revoked. Ahasuerus, however, had Mordecai fill the lofty position left by Haman. The king then had Mordecai write a second edict in his name authorizing the Jews to defend themselves against those who came to destroy them.

Ch 16:1-24 [Greek] The eloquent text prepared by Mordecai not only sanctioned the Jews’ self-defense but also directed praise toward the Jewish people and recounted the evil deed and intent of Haman. In doing so, the edict, while not rescinding the previous order, very strongly implied that Ahasuerus was not in favor of the destruction of the Jews. Moreover, Ahasuerus practically became an advocate for the God of Israel and for protection under the law for Jews.

Ch 8:13-17 The new edict was greeted by the Jews with great joy and celebration.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and thank you. We thank you for justice. We thank you for vindication. We thank you for all the ways in which your Providence and in your love for us, you make things right. Lord God, we know that in the fullness of time you will set all things right. You will set all things as they ought to be and these stories of Nehemiah and these stories of Esther are just a foreshadowing of the way in which you will restore justice and bring justice to the world. Lord God today, this day, bring justice to our lives. Bring reconciliation and healing to our relationships. And above all, Lord God, bring yourself to us and bring us to yourself. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”