MONDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia so that he sent a herald throughout all his kingdom, and also in a written edict declared:
“Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them!—are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem; and let all survivors, in whatever place they reside, be assisted by the people of their place with silver and gold, with goods and with animals, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.”
The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—everyone whose spirit God had stirred—got ready to go up and rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors aided them with silver vessels, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with valuable gifts, besides all that was freely offered.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.
Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that will not become known and come to light. Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away.”
Light cannot be hidden but it dispels the darkness. All things are revealed in the light. God wants us to see the light and the light of the world is Christ.
If we listen to the word of God and let it penetrate our minds, we will be able to apply it to our lives. The word is his will and it will help us grow in knowledge, wisdom and understanding. When we see more of the truth and gain understanding, the more we grow in faith and knowledge of God. If we have charity and faith, we can have hope. With faith, hope and love, we have all the materials we need to increase.
If we do not listen to God, we will find that our works are ultimately dead. We can have wealth and influence but without God, nothing is going to last and nothing is going to provide us with satisfaction in this life.
How do I listen? Is listening only something I do when I want answers from God for my own gain? Is listening something I foster regularly so that I can be led by the Holy Spirit?
If we listen, we will be changed to reap a harvest in our lives and in the life to come. We will devote ourselves to God’s will and see that He will increase us in our sowing and reaping. If we do not listen and apply ourselves to the Word, we will find that we are empty and there is little meaning in our lives even though we may possess much.