Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit for three hours and listen to confessions at the Youth 2000 retreat that is taking place right now at St. Stephen’s. At a certain point, while listening to the young person in front of me, someone opened the door and in flooded a song which spoke of God’s great and amazing love. I’ve used it before in homilies but every time, this song moves me and serves as a reminder of the goodness of God that I, that we are invited to live out every day, especially through the most Holy Eucharist! As I heard the song, I asked the young person to listen, and just at that moment, the chorus of the song was ringing through the hall, “O, how He loves us! O, how He loves us, O, how He loves us O.” Teary eyed, and moved by the Spirit, I told the young person to listen and to become that song!
We hear in today’s first reading that Ezra, the priest, brought the law before the assembly, we hear that he read the Word of God and interpreted what had been handed to them so long ago. We also hear how the people wept. Now, this point is quite interesting, because to have been next to me yesterday, one could easily have said that the reasons I teared up and the young person teared up were very different, and this is also true for any large crowd, but the first reading today speaks of the people weeping because of what they had experienced, in their own lives, they had clearly chosen to go away from God, to a certain degree, they had chosen to become silent, to stop singing, to stop knowing and loving God, and yet, here they stood, a people out of exile who now heard the Word of God and were shaken and inspired by the words of love. Here, they, and we listen to the movement of the Spirit within us that invites us to proclaim before all, just how good the Lord is, here, in Christ the Word, and at this Eucharistic feast, we are called upon to recognize what it is that we need to change, what it is that we must give up, that which robs us of our song. We are called to stop and listen, and to become aware of how it is that God is daily inviting us to live in truth. In Christ!. We are enjoined upon to recognize that God has sent to us Christ, through whom we have found life, and in whom we love. The readings today are an invitation to move! To sing! To do that which glorifies God in our living, it is a call to know the will of the Father in our lives and to have the faith to act so as to find fulfillment. Today, God calls upon us to stop our weeping, to know who we are in His eyes, and to proclaim to all the world that in Christ and through God’s great and immense love, we too have become bearers of the words of Jesus: “