Archive for April 30th, 2019

Baruch 1: Meeting in Babylon

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Prisoners going into Exile

Why is it that we do not pay attention to what is important until we have lost it?

The answer that I share laughingly is that we are all so stubborn that this is the only way that God can get our attention!

We read here in this first chapter about a public day of atonement, such as the Feast of Booths, and the notes tell us that this would not have been possible in Baruch’s time as the Jewish nation was living in exile – and they were prohibited from holding and participating in their traditional rites.

They wept and fasted and prayed before the Lord . . .

We easily fall into the rhythm of forgetting, of wasting, of procrastinating, of avoiding the doing of something we know must be done.

 . . . and collected such funds as each could furnish . . .

We gather ourselves after a shattering experience and try to find our way home.

The shame and remorse which the people in Chapter 1 of Baruch feel come from a suffering which is deep and cutting.  They anticipate God’s wrath and anger.  They expect further punishment.  But the New Testament message is this: There is a New Idea, a New Way, a New Life.  When we stray, when we bump into thick walls, when we feel ourselves becoming stiff-necked . . . there is only one remedy for our recovery, only one place to go.  We heard this in today’s Gospel:  The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  Jesus said to them:  “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you . . . my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink”.  (John 6)

When we are thick-headed and fall, we recover best when we return to the source from which we came.  We must return to the one place where we are totally understood and where there can be no dissembling.  We must return to the one place of complete and total comfort where we can truly feel at peace.  And if we allow ourselves to rest on God . . . we will feel the serenity for which we long.

When we meet in Babylon . . . in the camp of our exile . . . we must sustain ourselves daily on the Living and Written Word . . . Eucharist and Scripture.  That is where we meet ourselves.  That is where we meet our God.

A re-post from April 15, 2012.

Image from: http://www.flavinscorner.com/wretched.htm

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