Liturgical Colour : White
Ezra 9 : 5-9
I remained seated and dismayed until the evening sacrifice; and then, at the time for the evening offering, I rose from my fasting, and with my clothes and mantle torn, I knelt down, spreading out my hands to YHVH, my God.
I said, “My God! I am ashamed and confused, my God, I do not dare raise my eyes to You for our sins have increased over our heads and our crimes reach up to the heavens.”
“From the days of our ancestors to this day, our guilt has been great. We, our kings and priests have been given into the hands of foreign kings because of our crimes; we have been delivered to the sword, to captivity, to plunder, and put to shame as on this day.”
“However, for a brief moment, the mercy of YHVH, our God, has been shown to us. He made a remnant of our people survive, and allowed the survivor to settle once again in His Holy Place; He has given us joy and life, though we are in bondage. We are no more than slaves, but in the midst of our slavery, God has not abandoned us, He has extended a merciful hand over us to support us before the kings of Persia. He has revived our life, enabled us to rebuild the House of our God, and to have walls in Jerusalem and in the other cities of Judah.”
Ezra 1 : 1-6
In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, YHVH willed to fulfil the word He had said through the prophet Jeremiah, so He moved the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, to issue the following command and send it out in writing to be read aloud everywhere in his kingdom, “Thus speaks Cyrus, king of Persia : YHVH, the God of heavens, who has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, has ordered me to build Him a Temple in Jerusalem, in the land of Judah.”
“To everyone belonging to His people, may his God be with him! Let them go up to Jerusalem with the help of their God and there build the House of YHVH, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. In every place where the rest of the people of YHVH live, let the people of those places help them for their journey with silver, gold and all kinds of goods and livestock. Let them also give them voluntary offerings for the House of YHVH which is in Jerusalem.”
Then they rose up – the heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, and all those whose spirit God had stirred up – and they decided to go and build the House of YHVH. And all their neighbours gave them all kinds of help : gold, silver, livestock and precious objects in great quantity, besides every kind of voluntary offering.