Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29
As we celebrate the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux today, I find it interesting that the first reading is about the Israelites being exiled. "You were sold to the nations not for your destruction....he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy." What beautiful words spoken to our ancient ancestors in the faith. In their exile they felt abandoned by God and yet in the midst of that feeling of abandonment and sorrow, they are assured that the Lord is at work with something much greater. Through their exile, the people of Israel were sent out to be enlivened in their faith, renewed in their commitment to the Lord of Lords and to shine like the sun before the pagan nations. Their suffering brought them back enduring joy, with others having known the Lord more deeply because of their trials.
St. Therese, though a cloistered nun, is actually patroness of missionaries because she spent her life praying for others, especially those seeking to bring the gospel to lost souls. And yet in the connection with the reading from Baruch, it seems that she too endured great trials that ultimately led her to her eternal home, where she is enduring great joy herself with the angels and saint, beholding God for eternity. And yet in the midst of her trials, she too, like the Israelites, shined like the sun with the peace and love of Christ. Dear Little Flower, shower us with your prayers this day and continue to reflect the light of Christ toward our souls.