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22 March 2015
posted by Canon Dakin on 21-03-2015

Sadly we are accustomed to power struggles in the Middle East, Jew against Arab, Sunni against Shia. liberal against fundamentalist.

In Jeremiah’s time the Babylonians were a thorn in the side of the Jews. In the year 597 they destroyed Jerusalem and took the people off into exile. Fifty years later the Persians came along and knocked the Babylonians off their perch. They encouraged the Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem.               The experience of exile and the resumption of their former way of life centred on a restored temple in Jerusalem was one of the great events in Jewish history. Jeremiah is prophesying to the Jews whilst they were still in exile in Babylon. He is telling them that what has happened is the result of their being unfaithful to the covenant that God had made with them in the time of Moses and he is looking forward to a new covenant to be arranged by God, a covenant to be written not on tablets of stone but in their hearts.  Christians see this prophecy fulfilled by the new covenant Jesus announced at the Last Supper - a covenant whose law is simply love. Love one another as I have loved you. True love, as Our Lord explains in the gospel today about the grain dying to produce fruit, is not self-serving but involves the sacrifice of self-interest. This new covenant we renew at every Mass - the Mass is quite simply a renewal of the covenant - but the significance of the special importance we attach to our Easter Communion is that on Easter night or Easter Day we make a solemn renewal of the covenant - accepting for ourselves the covenant law of love as a condition of our being made one with Christ to share his risen life.     

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