The 1st reading doesn’t tell us exactly why all the people were weeping. They had been in exile 70 years, so perhaps with the covenant renewal ceremony, it truly sank in: we are home, and that suffering is at an end. Some may have longed for the chance to renew the covenant for years, and now the time finally arrived. For many who were younger, it may have been hearing from the Torah for the first time. Others may have been struck by God’s love and promises, now fulfilled, while some may have been struck with how far they had drifted away from God’s commands during the exile. Regardless, Nehemiah was clear. Renewing the covenant, a fresh start: it’s a time to rejoice and celebrate!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016