The first reading gives us the words of Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, whose name means “a blessing.”
In 587 B.C., when the Babylonians had carried off Jerusalem’s people, Baruch likened the abandoned Jerusalem to a widow who had lost all her children.
But, as a prophet of God, Baruch could not present a picture devoid of hope. His words urged the exiled Israelites to mend their ways; and he promised that if they did; they would once again enjoy God’s blessings.
For all ages, his message is the same. Where there is life there is hope. No matter how far you have fallen, if you return to God, he will have you return to joy.