Day 280: The People of the Covenant

Esther 9:1-19 On the appointed day, the Jews joined forces and defended themselves against their attackers, killing many. They took no plunder, thus avoiding the sin of Saul in his fight against Agag that cost him his throne (cf. 1 Sm 15). Although killing another person is prohibited by the Fifth Commandment, the legitimate self-defense that may even result in the death of an opponent can be morally justified. (CCC 2263-2265)

Ch 9:20-32 Mordecai and Esther declared that the days of the edict should be commemorated each year as the Feast of Purim, a time for celebration and almsgiving. The name comes from the plural form of the Babylonian term pur, which means “lot,” since Haman had drawn lots to determine the date of the planned slaughter of the Jews. 

Ch 10:1-3 [Hebrew], 4-13 [Greek] An epilogue has Mordecai himself interpreting the dream that opens this book. The tiny spring was Esther, who in the end saved the Jewish people from destruction; the dragons were Haman and Mordecai, whose conflict resulted in much noise and confusion; “every nation” referred to those set on destroying the Jewish race. Israel, the “righteous nation,” experienced the gloom, distress, and tumult at the news of the first edict but had been spared because they turned to God in prayer and fasting. 

Ch 11:1 [Greek] The letter establishing Purim was circulated not only in Persia but also in Jerusalem and among the dispersed Jews still living in Egypt. 

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

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you so much for your Word. Thank you so much for the history, the stories of your Presence, and your action among the people that you have chosen, the people that you love, the people that you have covenanted yourself with. We ask you to please send your Holy Spirit upon us in our lives so that we can know that you have chosen us, that you fight for us, and that you have covenanted yourself to us and us to you. Help us to always live as your children, because you always will be our Father in time and in Eternity. We thank you and we praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen.”