We Have Sinned
- Reading I: Baruch 1:15-22
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 79
- Gospel Reading: Luke 10:13-16
A National Confession of Guilt
Baruch 1:15-22 is part of a national confession of guilt meant to be read to the assembly of Judah. The confession was made by the exiles, written in a scroll and sent to Jerusalem along with gifts for sacrifices and offerings.
The selection for today’s liturgy ascribes the present shame of Judah and Jerusalem to the sins of the people and their disobedience to God.
The responsorial psalm taken from Psalm 79 is a communal lament about the defilement of the temple and an attack against the people that left many dead and unburied. The lament includes a petition that God have compassion on His people, deliver them from their present situation and forgive their sins.
Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum are Galilaean towns were Jesus has worked healing and miracles. But these same towns have not been responsive to Jesus. The "Woe" that Jesus pronounces over them should be rather translated in such a way that it would sound as a prophetic lament, not "It will not go well with you," as is translated in NAB. In the prophets of the Old Testament, "Woe" is a cry of concern at a catastrope that they see is coming. When Jesus pronounces his woes over those three Galilaean towns, it was to express sadness at something that he knew will inevitalbly befall them.
Tyre and Sidon are great neighboring seaport towns that are not of the Israelite nation. When Jesus, in comparing Tyre and Sidon with the towns that he has visited, he says "If they had heard… they would be in sackcloth now" Again Jesus indirectlyl puts Gentiles into a better light than the towns he had visited. Even Caphernaum which has been a witness to the miracles he performed there did not respond appropriately. It will not be exalted but will find itself in Hades, the place of the Dead.
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