18th December 2020

Friday, Third Week of Advent;

Jer 23:5-8;   Ps 72:1-2,12-13,18-19;   Mt 1:18-24


The exodus event was the defining moment in the life of the Jews around which revolved their laws, traditions and beliefs. Today, Jeremiah prophecies a new exodus; a new focal point that would surpass the old in every way. “People will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt.’”

The life of Christ is the new exodus event, surpassing the old in every way. The Israelites were saved from a physical slavery; in Jesus, all of humanity – past, present and future – is saved from the slavery of sin and death. Their leader Moses, spoke to God as a man speaks to his friend (cf. Ex 33:11); Jesus is the son of God. They received manna from heaven; Jesus gives us the Eucharist. They were promised a fertile land of their own to settle in; Jesus prepares for us a place in the Kingdom of God. Thus, Jesus becomes the new exodus. His incarnation, passion, death and resurrection, his very life itself, becomes our defining moment, our focal point around which everything in our life must revolve. Jeremiah prophesied that the exodus would be marked by the returning of the people of God dispersed among the nations. Jesus, in his own words, confirmed this prophecy: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.” (Jn 12:32).

Sin has scattered us, far away from the ‘Garden of Eden.’ But now, the cross stands on the horizon for us to see and journey towards it. How far are we on this journey? Are we walking steadily towards the cross today with our eyes fixed on him who hangs on it? Or, are we walking in the other direction, where darkness is more pleasurable? Or, are we just wandering aimlessly, satisfied with life, and have built tents to settle in, with no intention or ambition to embrace the cross of Christ?

Responsorial Psalm: In his days shall justice flourish, and great peace forever.

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