Bar 5:1-9; Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6; Phil 1:4-6, 8-11; Lk 3:1-6
Today’s first reading is particularly appropriate for this Advent season. We wait today, for the celebration of the birth of our Lord. We are expectant, and our hearts should be set on preparation. What better message to sustain us through this time of waiting, than the message of hope and of faith found in Baruch 5:1-9?
The first reading, taken from the end of the book of Baruch contains a message of hope for the people of Jerusalem. In exile, the people are facing real darkness, unsure of how their story might end. The passage speaks of Jerusalem, beaten down and wearing a “robe of mourning and misery.” Fortunately for all of us, God has a plan for the restoration of his people.
We have all seen darkness, but we can rest easy with the assurance that we have a God who loves us and who will never leave our side. The invitation in this passage is to throw away those things that bind us to our fear and our sorrow and to wear proudly the marks of a God who is rooted in justice and whose grace conquers fear. God will provide for his people. His only requirement is that we believe that to be true, and that we respond accordingly. Live justly, humble yourself and expect the saving power of God’s love. Christmas is almost here. Jerusalem will be restored.
Pilgrim, St. Francis Prep