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Vigils Reading – Weekday
November 14, 2022
A Commentary on the Book of Ezra by St Bede 
The mystery of the unfinished stones is undoubtedly plain, since we have seen that God’s church is built not only by those who by repenting regain their senses and return to the life of holiness that they had previously squandered by sinning, but also from those who have recently been called to the faith, arranged by the instruction of teachers as though with the measuring rod of builders and so inserted into the edifice of the Lord’s house in a place appropriate to themselves. Yet the fact that the temple was built from both old and new stones, that is, both from stones that had been finished long previously and from those that had remained unfinished for longer, can also be rightly interpreted as corresponding to the fact that the church of Christ is assembled from both peoples, namely Jews and Gentiles – the Jews who long since had been as though finished through knowledge and mindfulness of God’s law, the Gentiles who, being enslaved to idolatry had not by any industry of spiritual architects or any cultivation of piety divested themselves of the ugliness of a rustic and earthly mind.
Since the rebuilding of the house after their captivity, as has often been said, designates the correction of those who through sin have wandered from the path of truth that they had only just set out on, it is fitting that when the temple has been restored in this way it is dedicated by the priests and Levites and the rest of the descendants of the exiles with joy. For when those who have sinned are set straight, there is great joy in heaven in the presence of the angels of God; there is joy also for the teachers who have labored for the salvation of those who go astray, and there is joy for all those who have migrated in their thoughts and deeds from Babylon – i.e. from the confusion of sinners to the citadel of the virtues , which is truly the promised land. So both the priests and the Levites and all the people rejoice in the dedication of the Lord’s restored house because all the orders of holy Church must share in the rejoicing when those who have sinned are reconciled by repenting. They offer victims for this dedication when they bring vows of thanks to God for the efforts of sinners to lead a holy life and when many observing their life devoted to God, are themselves spurred on to works of greater virtue.
 Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture – Old Testament – V = OnterVarsity Press – Downers Grove, IL – 2008 = pg 317