Scripture: Lectionary 460. Oct 5. Baruch 4:5-12,27-29. Psalm 69:33-35,36-37. Luke 10:17-24:
Yesterday’s reading from Baruch emphasized the need to acknowledge we have sinned and need forgiveness both as individuals and as a collective people of God. We are often similar to the people that Baruch is addressing in the time just after their Exile in Babylon. He acknowledges for them their need to be aware of their past failures and to make a firm purpose of amendment—which is always the hardest part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our defense mechanisms even enter into our relationship with God and block the intimate love we are called to share with God. It is our loss.
Baruch, however, is not a prophet of doom but a harbinger of hope and consolation in today’s readings. Once we have confessed our sins we do not reflect upon them lest we offend our God who forgives and forgets sins better than we do. We listen to the words of consolation that come in the last chapter of Baruch which are similar to the message in the hymns of the great prophet Isaiah in chapters 55-66 (Deutero-Trito Isaiah).
We listen carefully to these words of Baruch: “turn now ten times more to seek God. For he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.” (Baruch 4:29).
We are also consoled by the Psalm which focuses help for the needy, the poor, the “remnant” that stayed in Jerusalem joined by the “remnant” coming back from Babylon (present day Iraq). (Psalm 69:34).
In the Gospel from the continued readings of Luke we again see the theme of rejoicing in the disciples, seventy-two of them, who have been very successful in casting out evil spirits and healing people. The Name of Jesus is their power and when they use it the demons flee and people are restored to health and freed from their sins. Jesus always is in union with the Holy Spirit. He breathes deeply in that Person who is a source of joy, peace, and love. He prays with and in the Spirit and thanks the Father; he blesses the seventy-two and teaches them a profound lesson in simplicity and transparency in their love for God and for him. The teaching about this mystery of his and our union with him and the Father through the Spirit has to be grasped by our disposition toward the humility and simplicity that children have who trust absolutely in their heavenly Father. For it is to them that the Presence of God is revealed. Blessed are those who eyes see what they see. And we join in prayer today saying, “Blessed be the Lord of heaven and earth.” Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.