Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Ezra 6:7-8,12,14-20 + Luke 8:19-21
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Today’s First Reading, like yesterday’s, proclaims the might of God’s providential Will in the context of God’s people rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Today’s passage from Ezra concludes by describing the dedication of the Temple and the priestly sacrifices offered.
Reflect, though, on today’s Responsorial Psalm. Both yesterday’s and today’s Responsorials can be heard in light of the return from exile described in their First Readings. Today’s Responsorial refrain is “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” The most obvious interpretation of this refrain within the Scriptures of yesterday and today is to imagine this verse being sung by the priests preparing to offer the Passover sacrifices.
However, as Christians you and I can see in these sacred events and places great foreshadowings. One of the four ancient senses in which Christians have interpreted Scripture is called the “anagogical sense”, which simply means that people, places and things from long ago can point forward through time all the way to eternity as we may experience it in Heaven. For example, the ancient Jewish Temple foreshadows Heaven itself, or more specifically, the inner life of the Trinity which is the life of Heaven. Jesus, the Lamb of God, offers Himself eternally to the Father in Heaven, and so the Passover sacrifice points to this “part” of the experience of Heaven. We as Christians are called to live the vocation God gave us at Baptism by offering sacrifices of thanks, not so much in imitation of the sacrifices in today’s First Reading, as in imitation of the Lamb of God whose self-sacrifice on Calvary revealed to us the love to which God invites us in Heaven.