The common theme of today’s readings is the house of the Lord. The first reading from Ezra recounts the work of the exiles returning to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was God’s dwelling place and central to the identity and faith of the Jews returning to their homeland. Interestingly, we learn that it is at the verbal and financial encouragement of three foreign kings that this work is accomplished.
The Gospel presents a quite different take on the house of the Lord. Jesus says that His household, his mother and brothers, is made up of those who hear the Word of God and act on it.
Today’s psalm fleshes out the theme calling upon us to journey rejoicing to the house of the Lord, already present in Jerusalem and yet somehow future in orientation.
The readings set me to wondering about my household. Who might I consider my mother and my brothers and sisters to be? How does my daily living out the Gospel include a present and future understanding of this household, and who it is that journeys alongside of me? How big is my roof and how encompassing are the walls of the temple that I participate in building?