Each of today’s three readings is worth a second listen. The first reading tells how in 450 b.c. the people of Jerusalem decided on taking out of mothballs the old law of Moses, making it their current civil law. The priest Ezra, standing high on a platform before the water gate, read the old law to the people; and they bound themselves to observe it.
The second reading reflects on the fact that all humanity has been created in God’s image, and it asks us to see how in God’s eyes we are not just billions of strangers, scattered over seven continents. Rather, we are all parts of the one body, the Body of Christ.
There days this Body of Christ is experiencing so much suffering. Two days ago forty women and children died in boats that capsized while attempting to escape to Greece. Here, in our freezing north, in the long backups or cars on or interstates, the people in stalled cars without gas or water are shivering to death. Those miserable souls are our fellow members in the body of Christ.
In this opening sentences of his Gospel, St. Luke introduced himself. As the only non-Jew to write a book of the Bible, Luke came along twenty years after the death and resurrection of Christ, Then, travelling to Jerusalem, he went about gathering stories about him from the people who had lived with Jesus.