The prophet Jeremiah urges the people of Israel to repent, preparing the way of the Messiah.
Today is the sixteenth day in our set of meditations inspired by Jesse Tree Advent Tradition. (To see previous days, click here.)
The concept comes from a passage in Isaiah, where the prophet says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots” (11:1). Jesse is the father of King David, and Jesus was born into that same line of David through his foster-father’s (Joseph’s) ancestry.
Each day of December we will offer a brief Scripture passage and reflection, following God’s marvelous plan of salvation in the Jesse Tree tradition.
Stand at the gate of the house of the Lord and proclaim this message there: Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord! Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Reform your ways and your deeds so that I may dwell with you in this place.(Jeremiah 7:2-3)
Jeremiah, like Isaiah, is one of the greater prophets, not of the minor, like the others from whose writings I have just given extracts. He prophesied when Josiah reigned in Jerusalem, and Ancus Martius at Rome, when the captivity of the Jews was already at hand; and he continued to prophesy down to the fifth month of the captivity, as we find from his writings. Zephaniah, one of the minor prophets, is put along with him, because he himself says that he prophesied in the days of Josiah; but he does not say till when. Jeremiah thus prophesied not only in the times of Ancus Martius, but also in those of Tarquinius Priscus, whom the Romans had for their fifth king. For he had already begun to reign when that captivity took place. Jeremiah, in prophesying of Christ, says, “The breath of our mouth, the Lord Christ, was taken in our sins,” (Lamentations 4:20) thus briefly showing both that Christ is our Lord and that He suffered for us. Also in another place he says, “This is my God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him; who has found out all the way of prudence, and has given it to Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved: afterwards He was seen on the earth, and conversed with men.”Again the same prophet says concerning Him, “Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a righteous shoot, and a King shall reign and shall be wise, and shall do judgment and justice in the earth. In those days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently: and this is the name which they shall call Him, Our righteous Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)…For Jeremiah himself says, “Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will complete over the house of Jacob a new testament, and the rest, which may be read there.”(St. Augustine, The City of God, Book XVIII)
PrayerGrant, we pray, almighty God,
that the coming solemnity of your Son
may bestow healing upon us in this present life
and bring us the rewards of life eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
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