Tuesday of Week XXV

“Let the governor and the elders of the Jews continue the work on that house of God; they are to rebuild it on its former site.” (Ezra 6:7.)

Saint Bede the Venerable comments on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“The sequence of events in the text is as if Darius himself had read Cyrus’s letter and, having perused it, immediately endorsed it with his authority, in such a way that suppressing all their adversaries, he ordered the temple of God to be rebuilt on its site just as the letter said, and himself, with a most devout mind in all things, assisted God’s worshipers to serve his will. Let Artaxerxes, therefore, who above forbade that the house or city of God be built, designate those lords of worldly affairs who by inciting persecutions opposed the construction of the holy church, while in the upheaval of these persecutions that church flourished chiefly by the triumph of martyrs. Let Darius designate the dutiful devotion of those kings who, recognizing the will of God, endeavored not only not to resist the Christian faith but also to assist it with their decrees; and many of them, forbidding the persecutions of their predecessors, wished that they themselves along with the people under their sway might be consecrated in the sacraments of the same faith.” (On Ezra and Nehemiah), 2.

O God,
Who founded all the commands
of Your sacred Law
upon love of You and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping Your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen