Jeremiah is one of the prophets of the Old Testament. He never wanted to be a prophet and he protested against the call of Yahweh/God. He lived at the time of the last days of Jerusalem’s monarchy and he reluctantly proclaimed a message of destruction.
But in spite of his messages of disaster he also had a message of hope. In the Book of Jeremiah Chapter 29 VII he writes:
‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned
Plans to take care of you, not to abandon you
Plans to give you the future you hope for
When you pray to Me I’ll listen to you.
When you look for Me you’ll find Me.
I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.’”
The Bible is really a Library of Books. There are many books but the same central focus. The emphasis is on what God was doing in the lives of His people. The people in the Old Testament were not much different from us today. That is why the Bible is one of the oldest and most influential books ever written. It is not easy reading at times as it tells of disasters and calamities, death and destruction. But don’t we hear plenty about these today? And do we listen to our modern prophets today?
The people of the Old Testament believed that Yahweh/God spoke to them through the prophets. They spoke to them of new leadership and gave them hope for a more equal life for all people and freedom and prosperity which would sustain them. So, these sacred books tell the history of the earth and its evolution, its people and their laws right up to the spread of Christianity in the 1st Century AD. Throughout the whole Bible the faith of the people shines through and sustains them.
We have the Good News brought by Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus preached the coming of God’s rule breaking through the bonds of evil, sin and death. Jesus was the fulfilment of the Old Testament. He was the One the prophets looked forward to. In Him was the hope of the Chosen People.
In Matthew’s Gospel we read: “The people who lived in darkness have seen a great light. On those who lived in a country of shadow a light has dawned.” This was to fulfil what was spoken by the Prophet Isaias:
“The Lord will give you a sign – a young woman will be with child and will give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel which means God with us.” The woman we know was Mary who paved the way for all people to have free access to the grace by which we live and confidence in the hope of the glory of the children of God.
Mary is the pledge of our redemption. She and her son Jesus are the two most important people of the Old and the New Testaments. They are both continuously present to us if only we call upon them. As He hung on the Cross, Jesus gave His mother to all people. She is your mother and mine. She will be close to us as we live our human life and for all eternity when we meet her in glory.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother, pray for us now and always.
Sr Abbie O’Sullivan