by Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace
I remind us that as we reflected last Sunday, this season of Advent is the season of celebration of coming. We might think first of all of the coming of Jesus at his birth in Bethlehem, but that’s not really what this season is about. It’s about that coming as we look back and remember it, but even more about the coming of Jesus at the end of time, the fulfillment of all of history. In between that first coming of Jesus and that final coming is the time in which we live now.
These lessons are intended to help us during this time in between. It’s a long period of time, obviously, and many terrible things can happen. That’s why the first lesson today is given to us through this book of the Prophet Baruch. It’s a lesson that enables us to reinforce our understanding that God is with us so we can always have hope and trust. It actually had been a very terrible time that the people had undergone.
There had been a war just before the passage of today. God had sent a great sorrow. This was Jerusalem, and God speaking through the symbol of Jerusalem. “I have seen the captivity of my sons and daughters.” God caused a great nation to come against them, a ruthless nation, with an unknown language. They had no respect for the old, no pity for the infant. They took away the only son of the widow, as well as her daughter, and left her alone…