Greetings on this the Memorial of Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Readings: Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12; PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11; Lk 10:1-12
Notes: In today’s readings we have an unusual pairing. We hold them both up for their amazing contribution to faith and the faithful people. We also note their shortcomings and their negative impacts.
- Jerome – (see reflection) who had a temper problem.
- Nehemiah (God Has Comforted) – who also had a temperamental problem, albeit a different one.
Some trace the Samaritan-Jewish conflict intensity by Nehemiah’s treatment of Mixed Marriages (Neh 13:23-30). A nice writing on Nehemiah here – https://pastors.com/8-characteristics-of-leaders-who-rebuild/
Jerome was a strong, outspoken man. He had the virtues and the unpleasant fruits of being a fearless critic and all the usual moral problems of a man. He was, as someone has said, no admirer of moderation whether in virtue or against evil. He was swift to anger, but also swift to feel remorse, even more severe on his own shortcomings than on those of others. A pope is said to have remarked, on seeing a picture of Jerome striking his breast with a stone, “You do well to carry that stone, for without it the Church would never have canonized you” (Butler’s Lives of the Saints).
Despite temperamental shortcomings, Nehemiah was a man of good practical sense combined with deep faith in God. He used his influence as governor of Judah to serve God and the fledgling Jewish community in Jerusalem.
- New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE)
In today’s Old Testament portion Ezra reads from the Book of the Law of Moses.
Tearful and joyful to hear the Word proclaimed!
“Today is holy to the LORD your God.
Do not be sad, and do not weep”–
for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.
He said further: “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks,
and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared;
for today is holy to our LORD.
Do not be saddened this day,
for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!”
And the Levites quieted all the people, saying,
“Hush, for today is holy, and you must not be saddened.”
Then all the people went to eat and drink,
to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy,
for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.
The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The Kingdom of God is at hand;
repent and believe in the Gospel.
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
These Heralds of Christ went out among the peoples and the towns.
Proclaim the Good News!
Bring peace and cure the sick.
If they reject you, walk away.
- Don’t get angry like Jerome.
- Don’t punish like Nehemiah.
Just remind them ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Shake off the dust.
Peace be with you,