by Fr M Makama
The promised land is the inheritance that God gave to his people. When their infidelity to God has reached enormous heights, they lose God’s protection, their enemies run amock among and eventually cause them to leave the promised land and go into exile.
The physical departure from where God has placed them to go and be in exile is a movement that parallels the movement from God in their hearts which has manifested itself when they added infidelity upon infidelity . The agony which they went through living in exile is captured well in the Responsorial Psalm:
By the rivers of Babylon
There we sat and wept,
On the poplars that grew there
We hung up our harps.
It is clear that being away from where God wants you to be has rather unpleasant consequences! Through an edict issued by King Cyrus however, all this is reversed and the people of God are able to return to the promised land. This restorative mercy of God is shown to us in Jesus Christ, through Him, with Him and in Him, it is communicated par excellence, accomplishing new possibilities for reconciliation with God not just for the Israelites living in an epoch of history but for the whole of humanity in all times and places. For Jesus has come so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. And all of this is a gift, a totally free gift of God to humanity, undeserving as it is. For God has loved us with so much love that he has been generous with his mercy.