Today's mass readings from the Old Testament speak of the return of the exiled Jews from their sojourn in Babylon. In the first reading, the Persian king Cyrus sends a Jewish delegation led by the scribe Ezra to begin reconstruction on a new Temple in Jerusalem, to replace the one destroyed decades before. The Psalm, 126, is one of my favorites:
When the LORD restored the captives of Zion
We thought we were dreaming
Then our mouths were filled with laughter
Our tongues sang for joy
The readings remind us today to remember the millions of people who are modern exiles, refugees driven from their homes by war, unrest, famine, and ethnic cleansing. It's a day to pray for the millions of displaced persons who once had homes in Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Northwest Nigeria. It's a day to remember the Rohingya being driven from their villages in Myanmar.
It's also a day to remember people in our own country, in Houston, the Florida Keys, and Puerto Rico, who like Ezra's delegation are just beginning a long a difficult process of rebuilding. Today, let's pray for all those who have lost their homes, and hope that one day their mouths will again be filled with laughter.
This Monday Minute is from Br. Sam Amos