Ezra 1:1

1Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

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About Ezra chapter 1 verse 1:

The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible. Originally combined with the Book of Nehemiah in a single book of Ezra–Nehemiah, the two became separated in the early centuries of the Christian era. Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from what the book calls the sin of marriage with non-Jews. Together with the Book of Nehemiah, it represents the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible.

Structure

The contents of Ezra–Nehemiah are structured in a theological rather than chronological order: "The Temple must come first, then the purifying of the community, then the building of the outer walls of the city, and so finally all could reach a grand climax in the reading of the law."

The "plot" follows a repeating pattern in which the God of Israel "stirs up" the king of Persia to commission a Jewish leader (Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah) to undertake a mission; the leader completes his mission in the face of opposition; and success is marked by a great assembly. The tasks of the three leaders are progressive: first the Temple is restored (Zerubabbel), then the community of Israel (Ezra), and finally the walls which will separate the purified community and Temple from the outside world (Nehemiah). The pattern is completed with a final coda in which Nehemiah restores the belief of Yahweh. This concern with a schematic pattern-making, rather than with history in the modern sense of a factual account of events in the order in which they occurred, explains the origin of the many problems which surround both Ezra and Nehemiah as historical sources.

Prayer of the Day

Prayer to St. Luke the Evangelist in his day

Today October 18 we celebrate St. Luke the Evangelist, patron of doctors and artists, we ask for his intercession and we know his life

My God that you called St. Luke to spread with the word and with the pen

the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as a physician and apostle, you guided him to approach the suffering brothers and to heal them in their physical and spiritual illnesses, give them through their intercession the strength necessary to withstand with the meekness of Christ all the trials of life.

Glorious Saint Luke, who through your intercession always adapted our lives to what you wrote in the gospel by grace and impulse of the Holy Spirit. And with a firm faith, through works, let us be a witness to the Love of Jesus Christ

Like you, we can feel very close to Mary our Mother of Heaven, and learn from her, her life, her virtues and her unconditional service to God

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.