The first reading at Mass today, the 2nd Sunday of Advent, comes from the prophet Baruch.
The prophet announces a day of liberation for God’s people and a restoration and renewal for Jerusalem. Jerusalem: despoiled by foreign invaders, and its people taken into exile and slavery, is to be restored to glory.
Jerusalem, take off your dress of sorrow and distress,
put on the beauty of the glory of God for ever,
wrap the cloak of the integrity of God around you,
put the diadem of the glory of the Eternal on your head:
since God means to show your splendour to every nation under heaven,
since the name God gives you for ever will be,
‘Peace through integrity, and honour through devotedness.’
Arise, Jerusalem, stand on the heights
and turn your eyes to the east:
see your sons reassembled from west and east
at the command of the Holy One, jubilant that God has remembered them.
Though they left you on foot,
with enemies for an escort,
now God brings them back to you
like royal princes carried back in glory.
For God has decreed the flattening
of each high mountain, of the everlasting hills,
the filling of the valleys to make the ground level
so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God.
And the forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade
for Israel at the command of God;
for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory
with his mercy and integrity for escort.
In our days we still wait for that restoration of Jerusalem, for the city to be a place of peace and reconciliation where God’s people from east and west may all find a home and safety, where all might know themselves as children of God, brothers and sisters together, Jews, Christians, Muslims, people of all faiths and none.
In our days we still wait…
In Advent we are asked to make our waiting eager for the coming goodness that is work of God but which we need to accept, embrace and share with each other and all.
- Pray for your family and friends.
- Pray for Jerusalem
Jerusalem. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.