A group of hundreds, or more probably thousands, stood for hours, listening to scripture. And by the time it was finished, they wept for the sins God’s word had exposed in their lives.
This is what we heard in the first reading, and then Jesus does something similar in our Gospel reading.
But he read something different.
Ezra read the law of God, and the people wept because they saw their sin.
Jesus read the prophecy, that he was fulfilling, and the people wanted to kill him for it.
And they did.
And we did.
It is worth remembering, that each time we sin, each uncharitable word we say, each unkind thought we entertain, is one of the hammer blows that drove the nails into our Lord’s hands and feet.
That his death, was only because of our sins.
He is the sacrificial lamb, and we have all slit his throat.
“Do not be saddened on this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!”
The good news, is that Jesus would have it no other way.
The glad tidings he brings to us, the poor: is that he wants to be sacrificed, to set us free from the sins that bind us.
To release us from our shackles.
Our sin will not get the last word.
The final word, is Jesus saying: I love you.