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Day 247 – True Repentance


Thoughts and Reflections

Today we learn that Jeremiah remains in prison in a city that is under siege. He continues to trust in the Lord and he knows that he can call out to God and be answered. It’s important to know that our prayers are answered by God as well, and they are answered in his time. Jeremiah speaks about the destruction that will come upon Jerusalem. He speaks vividly about the streets will be filled with bodies.

God promises to multiply the Levitical priests. The Church continues to offer up the sacrifice of the Mass every day. This continues to be the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Jeremiah 33

1 Jeremiah was still confined to the Court of the Guard when the word of Yahweh came to him a second time, as follows,

2 ‘Yahweh who made the earth, who formed it and set it firm — Yahweh is his name — says this,

3 “Call to me and I will answer you; I will tell you great secrets of which you know nothing.

4 For this is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says about the houses of this city and the palaces of the kings of Judah which are about to be destroyed by means of the earthworks and the sword;

5 about those now fighting the Chaldaeans, only to fill the city with corpses, those whom I have slaughtered in my furious anger, those whose wickedness has made me hide my face from this city:

6 Look, I shall bring them remedy and cure; I shall cure them and reveal a new order of peace and loyalty to them.

7 I shall bring back the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel and shall rebuild them as before.

8 I shall cleanse them of all their guilt, by which they have offended me, I shall forgive all their guilty actions, by which they have offended me and rebelled against me.

9 And, for me, Jerusalem will become a name of joy and praise and pride for all the nations on earth to see; when they hear of all the prosperity that I shall give, they will be seized with fear and trembling at all the prosperity and the peace that I provide for it.”

10 ‘Yahweh says this, “In this place of which you now say: It is a ruin, without human or animal, in the towns of Judah and desolate streets of Jerusalem where there is neither human nor animal, once more will be heard

11 shouts of rejoicing and mirth, the voices of bridegroom and bride, and the singing of those who bring thanksgiving sacrifices to the Temple of Yahweh: Give thanks to Yahweh Sabaoth, for Yahweh is good, for his faithful love is everlasting. For I shall bring back the country’s captives, as before, Yahweh says.”

12 ‘Yahweh Sabaoth says this, “In this ruinous place, without human or animal, in all its towns, once again there will be pastures for the shepherds to rest their flocks.

13 In the towns of the highlands, of the lowlands and the Negeb, in the territory of Benjamin, in the districts round Jerusalem and in the towns of Judah, once again the flocks shall pass under the hand of someone who counts them, Yahweh says.

14 “Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the promise of happiness I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah:

15 In those days and at that time, I shall make an upright Branch grow for David, who will do what is just and upright in the country.

16 In those days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name the city will be called: Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice.”

17 ‘For Yahweh says this, “David will never lack a male descendant to occupy the throne of the House of Israel,

18 nor will the levitical priests ever lack male descendants to stand before me and offer the burnt offering, to burn the cereal offering and offer sacrifice every day.” ‘

19 The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah as follows,

20 ‘Yahweh says this, “If you could break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that day and night do not come at their due time,

21 then my covenant with David my servant might also be broken and he would have no son to reign on his throne, and so also might my covenant with the levitical priests, who are my ministers.

22 As surely as the array of heaven cannot be counted, nor the sand of the sea be measured, so surely shall I increase the heirs of David my servant and the Levites who minister to me.” ‘

23 The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah as follows,

24 ‘Have you not noticed what these people say, “The two families which Yahweh chose he has now rejected”? So they despise my people, whom they no longer think of as a nation.

25 Yahweh says this, “If I have not created day and night and fixed the laws governing heaven and earth,

26 why, then I shall reject the descendants of Jacob and of David my servant and cease to choose rulers from his descendants for the heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! For I shall bring back their captives and take pity on them.” ‘

Jeremiah 34

1 The word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his whole army, with all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion and all the peoples, were waging war on Jerusalem and all its towns,

2 ‘Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, “Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and tell him, Yahweh says this: I am going to hand this city over to the power of the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down.

3 And you yourself will not escape his clutches but will certainly be captured and handed over to him. You will see the king of Babylon face to face and speak to him personally. Then you will go to Babylon.

4 Even so, listen to the word of Yahweh, Zedekiah king of Judah! This is what Yahweh says about you: You will not die by the sword;

5 you will die in peace. And as spices were burnt for your ancestors, the kings who in times past preceded you, so spices will be burnt for you and a dirge sung for you: Alas for his highness! I have spoken, Yahweh declares.” ‘

6 The prophet Jeremiah repeated all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem,

7 while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and all such towns of Judah as still held out, namely Lachish and Azekah, these being the only fortified towns of Judah remaining.

8 The word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to issue a proclamation freeing their slaves:

9 each man was to free his Hebrew slaves, men and women, no one was any longer to keep a brother Judaean in slavery.

10 All the chief men and all the people who had entered into the covenant had agreed that everyone should free his slaves, men or women, and no longer keep them as slaves: they had agreed on this and set them free.

11 Afterwards, however, they changed their minds, recovered the slaves, men and women, whom they had set free, and reduced them to slavery again.

12 The word of Yahweh came then to Jeremiah as follows,

13 ‘Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, “I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; it said:

14 At the end of seven years each one of you is to free his brother Hebrew who has sold himself to you: he may be your slave for six years, then you must send him away free. But your ancestors did not listen to me and would not pay attention.

15 Now, today you repented and did what pleases me by proclaiming freedom for your neighbour; you made a covenant before me in the Temple that bears my name.

16 And then you changed your minds and, profaning my name, each of you has recovered his slaves, men and women, whom you had sent away free to live their own lives, and has forced them to become your slaves again.”

17 ‘So Yahweh says this: “You have disobeyed me, by failing to grant freedom to brother and neighbour. Very well, I in my turn, Yahwehdeclares, shall leave sword, famine and plague free to deal with you and I shall make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

18 As for the people who have broken my covenant, who have not observed the terms of the covenant which they made before me, I shall treat them like the calf that people cut in two to pass between its pieces.

19 The chief men of Judah and Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the country people who have passed between the pieces of the calf,

20 I shall hand over to their enemies and those determined to kill them, and their corpses will be food for the birds of the sky and the animals of earth.

21 As for Zedekiah king of Judah and his chief men, I shall hand them to their enemies, to those determined to kill them, and to the army of the king of Babylon which has just withdrawn.

22 Listen, I shall give the order, Yahweh declares, and bring them back to this city to attack it and capture it and burn it down. And I shall make an uninhabited waste of the towns of Judah.” ‘

Judith 3

1 They therefore sent envoys to him to sue for peace, to say,

2 ‘We are servants of the great King Nebuchadnezzar; we lie prostrate before you. Treat us as you think fit.

3 Our cattle-farms, all our land, all our wheat fields, our flocks and herds, all the sheep-folds in our encampments are at your disposal. Do with them as you please.

4 Our towns and their inhabitants too are at your service; go and treat them as you think fit.’

5 These men came to Holofernes and delivered the message as above.

6 He then made his way down to the coast with his army and stationed garrisons in all the fortified towns, levying outstanding men there as auxiliaries.

7 The people of these cities and of all the other towns in the neighbourhood welcomed him, wearing garlands and dancing to the sound of tambourines.

8 But he demolished their shrines and cut down their sacred trees, carrying out his commission to destroy all local gods so that the nations should worship Nebuchadnezzar alone and people of every language and nationality should hail him as a god.

9 Thus he reached the edge of Esdraelon, in the neighbourhood of Dothan, a village facing the great ridge of Judaea.

10 He pitched camp between Geba and Scythopolis and stayed there a full month to re-provision his forces.

Judith 4

1 When the Israelites living in Judaea heard how Holofernes, general-in-chief of Nebuchadnezzar king of the Assyrians, had treated the various nations, plundering their temples and destroying them,

2 they were thoroughly alarmed at his approach and trembled for Jerusalem and the Temple of the Lord their God.

3 They had returned from captivity only a short time before, and the resettlement of the people in Judaea and the reconsecration of the sacred furnishings, of the altar, and of the Temple, which had been profaned, were of recent date.

4 They therefore alerted the whole of Samaria, Kona, Beth-Horon, Belmain, Jericho, Choba, Aesora and the Salem valley.

5 They occupied the summits of the highest mountains and fortified the villages on them; they laid in supplies for the coming war, as the fields had just been harvested.

6 Joakim the high priest, resident in Jerusalem at the time, wrote to the inhabitants of Bethulia and of Betomesthaim, two towns facing Esdraelon, towards the plain of Dothan.

7 He ordered them to occupy the mountain passes, the only means of access to Judaea, for there it would be easy for them to halt an attacking force, the narrowness of the approach not allowing men to advance more than two abreast.

8 The Israelites carried out the orders of Joakim the high priest and of the people’s Council of Elders in session at Jerusalem.

9 All the men of Israel cried most fervently to God and humbled themselves before him.

10 They, their wives, their children, their cattle, all their resident aliens, hired or slave, wrapped sackcloth round their loins.

11 All the Israelites in Jerusalem, including women and children, lay prostrate in front of the Temple, and with ashes on their heads stretched out their hands before the Lord.

12 They draped the altar itself in sackcloth and fervently joined together in begging the God of Israel not to let their children be carried off, their wives distributed as booty, the towns of their heritage destroyed, the Temple profaned and desecrated for the heathen to gloat over. 

13 The Lord heard them and looked kindly on their distress. The people fasted for many days throughout Judaea as well as in Jerusalembefore the sanctuary of the Lord Almighty.

14 Joakim the high priest and all who stood before the Lord, the Lord’s priests and ministers, wore sackcloth round their loins as they offered the perpetual burnt offering and the votive and voluntary offerings of the people.

15 With ashes on their turbans they earnestly called on the Lord to look kindly on the House of Israel.

Judith 5

1 Holofernes, general-in-chief of the Assyrian army, received the intelligence that the Israelites were preparing for war, that they had closed the mountain passes, fortified all the high peaks and laid obstructions in the plains.

2 Holofernes was furious. He summoned all the princes of Moab, all the generals of Ammon and all the satraps of the coastal regions.

3 ‘Men of Canaan,’ he said, ‘tell me: what people is this that occupies the hill-country? What towns does it inhabit? How large is its army? What are the sources of its power and strength? Who is the king who rules it and commands its army?

4 Why have they disdained to wait on me, as all the western peoples have?’

5 Achior, leader of all the Ammonites, replied, ‘May my lord be pleased to listen to what your servant is going to say. I shall give you the facts about these mountain folk whose home lies close to you. You will hear no lie from the mouth of your servant.

6 These people are descended from the Chaldaeans.

7 They once came to live in Mesopotamia, because they did not want to follow the gods of their ancestors who lived in Chaldaea.

8 They abandoned the way of their ancestors to worship the God of heaven, the God they learnt to acknowledge. Banished from the presence of their own gods, they fled to Mesopotamia where they lived for a long time.

9 When God told them to leave their home and set out for Canaan, they settled there and accumulated gold and silver and great herds of cattle.

10 Next, famine having overwhelmed the land of Canaan, they went down to Egypt where they stayed till they were well nourished. There they became a great multitude, a race beyond counting.

11 But the king of Egypt turned against them and exploited them by forcing them to make bricks; he degraded them, reducing them to slavery.

12 They cried to their God, who struck the entire land of Egypt with incurable plagues, and the Egyptians expelled them.

13 God dried up the Red Sea before them

14 and led them forward by way of Sinai and Kadesh-Barnea. Having driven off all the inhabitants of the desert,

15 they settled in the land of the Amorites and in their strength exterminated the entire population of Heshbon. Then, having crossed the Jordan, they took possession of all the hill-country,

16 driving out the Canaanites before them and the Perizzites, Jebusites, Shechemites and all the Girgashites, and lived there for many years.

17 All the while they did not sin before their God, prosperity was theirs, for they have a God who hates wickedness.

18 But when they turned from the path he had marked out for them some were exterminated in a series of battles, others were taken captive to a foreign land. The Temple of their God was rased to the ground and their towns were seized by their enemies.

19 Then having turned once again to their God, they came back from the places to which they had been dispersed and scattered, regained possession of Jerusalem, where they have their Temple, and reoccupied the hill-country which had been left deserted.

20 So, now, master and lord, if this people has committed any fault, if they have sinned against their God, let us first be sure that they really have this reason to fail, then advance and attack them.

21 But if their nation is guiltless, my lord would do better to abstain, for fear that their Lord and God should protect them. We should then become the laughing-stock of the whole world.’

22 When Achior had ended this speech, all the people crowding round the tent began protesting. Holofernes’ own senior officers, as well as all the coastal peoples and the Moabites, threatened to tear him limb from limb.

23 ‘Why should we be afraid of the Israelites? They are a weak and powerless people, quite unable to stand a stiff attack.

24 Forward! Advance! Your army, Holofernes our master, will swallow them in one mouthful!’

Proverbs 16:29-33

29 The violent lures his neighbour astray and leads him by a way that is not good.

30 Whoever narrows the eyes to think up tricks and purses the lips has already done wrong.

31 White hairs are a crown of honour, they are found in the ways of uprightness.

32 Better an equable person than a hero, someone with self-mastery than one who takes a city.

33 In the fold of the garment the lot is thrown, but from Yahweh comes the decision.


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