Have you ever lost something and then, after some time passes, finally found it? Perhaps your keys, a cell phone, or worse still, a credit card. When we find utilitarian items that we’ve lost of misplaced, we’re so relieved and happy because we need these things for daily living. But what if we lose our whole purpose for living? Then we’re really in trouble.
The people to whom Nehemiah was speaking lost more than something material; they lost the key to who they were as a people. They lost the law of God that had been given to them through Moses hundreds of years before. They were now listening to it for the first time. Upon hearing all its wisdom and prescriptions, they were cut to the heart and wept. There was so much they had forgotten and were no longer practicing. As exiles in Babylon they had lost so much.
Yet the response toward this rediscovery could have been joy, because now they knew once again what made for happiness and living in the Lord. They had discovered the love that called them into existence.
We have been given the Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth and reminds us of everything Jesus taught us in Scriptures and Tradition. Knowing God’s truth is the deepest source of joy. Finding him is like finding what was lost. Like the found key, God unlocks our happiness. Like a cell phone, he gives us a constant connection with him. And like a credit card – but infinitely better – God is the love that fulfills our desires. And we never have to pay him back.
-Fr. Mark Haydu