Thursday of week 26

Nehemiah 8:1-12; Psalm 18(19):8-11; Luke 10:1-12

Perhaps you will be glad that we sit for the readings in Mass (other than the Gospel) for this morning's first reading is rather long! However, we are given the model for our liturgy of the word within Nehamiah Chapter 8.

Everyone stands - to hear the Word of God. The speaker is raised on a dais so that everyone can see and hear them.

The Word of God is explained - also translated into the common language(s) of the people present. This is the purpose of the Homily - you will know that ordinarily we keep notices etc to a different time in the celebration of Eucharist.

Perhaps it is easy to miss the point - but there is a special physical place for the readings. This in a Church is the Ambo - distinctively not the place of sacrifice, which is the Altar. In Nehemiah's day that might have been forced on them, as the temple was in ruins and the Word therefore had to be read just outside the gates. But it is important to remember that the Word has its own special place in our Churches - and should in our hearts.

The physical response to hearing the Word has now been lost in our tradition - but you will have seen others prostrating themselves, heads to the floor, in response. We perhaps do need to maintain that disposition in our hearts and minds - this is God speaking to us.

Posted in Daily Reflection.