In the Babylonian captivity, the people are yearning for a return. To the extent that false prophecies arise. (Hananiah falsely promises a liberation from the Assyrian rule and a return in two years time.) Jeremiah refutes these claims by pointing out that the precondition of peace and security is repentance which has not taken place.
Besides this, it is worth focusing on the desire to return to the Promised Land. There is a precondition for this: keeping the mysteries of our faith alive. In order to be rescued from the spiritual captivity, which our age enforces upon us, we must remember and keep the practices of faith. We live in a time of preparation… As for the desired peace, which is increasingly disappearing, Jeremiah message remains timing. There is no national and international security and peace without repentance.
Saint Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, shows this intense memory-work. Christians must keep reminding themselves of their transformation in Christ. ‘For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, and house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.’ This desire heals. This desire gives us orientation.
‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.’ The intensity of this reminder is not a utopian yearning for something unreachable. On the contrary. It points to that transformation, in which if are not anchored, our faith and the capacity of our soul will perish. Our heart must beat for Christ, nurturing our ongoing transformation and fulfilment.
It is also worth raising the disturbing question as to whether we are not treated and exploited as slaves by our culture? Our contemporaries are under such a pressure and subtle dependencies, that, the culture in which we live in, allows no room for God. This lack of time dedicated to our soul, our God, and to our families is the nature of being a slave.
That is why setting up our prayer communities in our parishes is so important.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..