Monday, December 23, 2019

Advent 2019, day twenty-three





If Sheol is the most common term for hell—life is not an absurd comedy, but a tragedy shot through with gift—then another is Gehenna, the rubbish dump outside Jerusalem, where waste was consumed by fire, including, in times of siege and fall, the bodies of the dead.

Here, the love and hatred, the jealous passions and mad revelry we are quite incapable of fathoming, of taming, are consumed for ever. What went down to the Pit was already affirmed by God. What returns, purified by fire, will be like him, knowing good from evil.

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