The Lord says this:
Shout with joy for Jacob!
Hail the chief of nations!
Proclaim! Praise! Shout:
‘The Lord has saved his people,
the remnant of Israel!’
See, I will bring them back
from the land of the North
and gather them from the far ends of earth;
all of them: the blind and the lame,
women with child, women in labour:
a great company returning here.
They had left in tears,
I will comfort them as I lead them back;
I will guide them to streams of water,
by a smooth path where they will not stumble.
For I am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my first-born son.
First reading for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
We are all of us familiar with images of exiles, refugees, victims of persecution; natural or man-made disasters. Many of us have our own direct experience of being up-rooted, driven from our homes, robbed of our seeming secure place in the world. Actually, of course, as the ‘us’ of the Christian includes all the human family. God’s family, these experiences always belong to ‘us’ never to them.
The prophet offers us afresh the hope that comes from God: the comfort, home-finding, home coming.
And challenges us to assist our brothers and sisters in making their new home…
Cases. Auschwitz 1, Poland. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.