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!
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,
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.”
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.
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.
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.” ‘
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.
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.” ‘
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.” ‘
1 They therefore sent envoys to him to sue for peace, to say,
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.
10 He pitched camp between Geba and Scythopolis and stayed there a full month to re-provision his forces.
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,
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.
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.
9 All the men of Israel cried most fervently to God and humbled themselves before him.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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,
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.
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.
24 Forward! Advance! Your army, Holofernes our master, will swallow them in one mouthful!’
29 The violent lures his neighbour astray and leads him by a way that is not good.
32 Better an equable person than a hero, someone with self-mastery than one who takes a city.