Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13
Matthew 13: 18-23
When this part of Jeremiah’s prophecy was written, Jerusalem had already been destroyed and the Ark of the Covenant had disappeared, never to be replaced. The loss of the Ark in particular was a depressing blow since it symbolized God’s presence among his people. The word of the prophet was that the people were not to lose heart – the new era to come would be even greater than that of the past. Jerusalem itself would be the Lord’s throne. And there all the nations would be gathered to honor the name of the Lord.
Now even though the prophets were moved to speak in God’s name, they often did not realize the full meaning of what they proclaimed. More often than not, the promises of the prophets were fulfilled in a way far beyond their expectations.
The coming of Christ and the Christian era fulfilled the prophetic vision. As a matter of fact, all the nations, and not just the Israelites, now know and worship the one true God. And that worship is not confined to a building, such as the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus himself, in his person as a risen-from-the-dead human being, is the new temple of worship. He is not confined by time and space. Those who are in union with him by faith and love, no matter where they may be found throughout the world, worship the Father in spirit and in truth.
In our gospel reading, Jesus explains how it all happened and continues to happen in our time. We thank our God who guards us as a shepherd his flock and showers us with his blessings. What better reason have we today to “make merry and dance”.
- Fr. Damian Towey, CP is a member of the community at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center,North Palm Beach,Florida.