Friday, October 2, 2015

Hope in the midst of the Diaspora

I preached the following short homily on the idea of "hope in the midst of a diaspora" during Mass at Notre Dame Long Term Healthcare in Worcester on Saturday.

In these days we have been hearing about the terrible tragedy of the diaspora in ancient Israel.  The word comes from the Greek, as some of you know, the dias-pora, or the scattering of the Jewish people all over the place by Nebuchadnezzar after he conquered ancient Israel.

It was a terrible disaster because Nebuchadnezzar purposely broke up families and sent mothers and fathers hundreds of miles away from their children and sometimes even away from each other.  That’s why, all last week, you heard about crying for Jerusalem, longing for Jerusalem…just wanting to go home!

When we get older, one of the things our hearts ache for the most is to go home.  We long to be younger and for things to be the way they used to be.  

It must be something like the way all those refugees from Syria feel.  Or the people fleeing Afghanistan or all those families in boats trying to escape Northern Africa.

But God has a message for them and for us.  You heard him, speaking through he prophet Baruch: “Fear not, my children; call out to God!  He who brought this upon you will remember you…”  ‘He will bring you enduring joy.”

So let us trust, whenever we are afraid or lost or long for things to be the way they used to be, let us trust in God.  For the God who brought us the joys of our youth is the same God who is with us still.  And he has joys in store for us the likes of which we cannot even imagine!