Today is Wednesday the 25 September, in the 25th Week of Ordinary Time.  

The monks of the Abbey of Keur Moussa sing Psalm 146:  “It is good to sing in honour of our God - sweet is his praise.  The Lord, Restorer of Jerusalem! He brought back Israel's exiles, healing their broken hearts, and binding up their wounds.”  

Today’s reading is from the Book of Ezra.  

Now that they are back in their own land after their exile, the people of Israel were trying to work out why all these things had happened to them. The scribe Ezra’s first thought is that bad things happened because of the people’s sinfulness. How does this analysis strike you?  

Nevertheless, he recognises that even at their lowest point, God never wholly abandoned them. Does that correspond to your own experience of God?  

The passage goes on to speak of the “new life” that God gives, even after a time of disaster. For Ezra, the chance to rebuild the Temple is a sign of that new life. What signs of new life offered by God have you encountered recently?  

As you listen to Ezra’s prayer again, imagine saying similar things to God yourself.  

Now move from Ezra’s prayer to your own and speak to God of whatever you find in your mind and heart.