The last few days have been busy with crafting things for print: bulletin info, FB notices for the parish, reestablishing our website for the parish www.seasnh.org, letters for upcoming events at SEAS. So much so that I have not had the creative spirit to post. Sorry.
However, in the last few days at Mass our readings bring home a happy truth: namely that even in the midst of difficulty and hardship, our God's love for us is unending. Even when we find ourselves accounted as nothing, our God can and will work to give us hope. We have the story of Darius, the king of Persia and the ruler of the conquered and exiled people of Israel. In a moment of openness and grace, Darius listened to the voice of God and allowed God's people, his slaves, a reprieve to return home to rebuild the Lord's temple. Not only that, but he invited his own people to help, to contribute to the rebuilding and to do what they can to help these slaves achieve a level of dignity as a "chosen people". Today, Ezra, the scribe, laments the sinfulness of this people, but also speaks of the mercy afforded them by the Lord, their God. He has retained a remnant, he has brightened their eyes, he has given relief to their servitude. "For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us; rather, he has turned the good will of the kings of Persia toward us. Thus he has given us new life to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins."
When things seem tough, when the world is crumbling, when we seem to be in servitude to sin, or circumstances, or the whirlwind around us, we can remember the mercy of God. We can hold dear in our hearts the fact that, unworthy though we are, God has chosen us and given us a promise that leads to life. We do have hope and joy in our hearts.