Today’s reading is from the Prophet Baruch, who lived at the time of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. A time of great mourning and sadness for the Hebrew people. And yet the prophet says to them:
Take off the garment of your sorrow and affliction, O Jerusalem,
and put on forever the beauty of the glory from God.
For God will show your splendor everywhere under heaven.
– Baruch 5:1,3
Advent is the season of hope. And the prophets, like Baruch, though sometimes they rightly predict the downfall of those who are walking in the wrong direction, offer us words of hope in the midst of sadness and tragedy. We sometimes may think of them as speaking gloom and doom. But when we keep listening, we find abundant sources of encouragement.