for Sunday, March 22, 2009
Not all of human history is sad, but so much of it is the story
of human folly and cruelty, of bad choices. War, greed,
oppression mark the history of our world.
The Bible has its share of sad stories and today's first reading is one of them. The account from the Second Book of Chronicles tries to stress the positive points of Israel's history. But here, in describing the infidelity that preceded
the tragedy of the exile or the author tells, in stark terms, how the people abandoned their covenant with God.
In theological language, the result is that God declares a
Sabbath, a time of rest for the land, until the "lost Sabbaths,"
the neglect of God, has been restored. This history ends on a
note of hope, describing how the Persian king, Cyrus, was
God's instrument to restore the people to their homeland.
During Lent we try to get our lives in order to restore our
part of the baptismal covenant, our relationship with God in
Christ. As our other Scriptures for today point out, in Jesus
Christ, God brings life from death, light from darkness.
That's the hope of those preparing for Baptism, and the
hope of those of us keeping this Lent.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: