Jeremiah the Prophet had to deliver a terribly pessimistic message, foretelling the tragedy of defeat and the doom of the nation. But because it was the Lord’s message and the Lord would never totally abandon his people, an irrepressible note of hope comes through as well. Today’s passage from Jeremiah is precisely that, the glimpse of salvation and redemption. Jeremiah’s vision harks back to the time in Jewish history when the people under the heel of Assyrian military might, exiled in a foreign land, were returned home through a merciful divine intervention.
This first reading anticipates today’s gospel. For weeks we have been listening to Mark recount how Jesus foretells his own passion and death. As with Jeremiah, Jesus’ message is rejected. But not entirely. The most unlikely person comes forward to break the pall of discouragement by enthusiastically joining Jesus on his journey to the cross.
Continuing our reading of the Letter to the Hebrews, we come upon one of the most profound statements about Jesus in the New Testament—his role as the new high priest, chosen by God his Father, to bring us all into the redemptive love of God
—Walter Modrys SJ
This week’s readings can be found on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.