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Archive for August 21st, 2021


Saturday, August 21, 2021

Michaelangelo: The Prophet Jeremiah

Michaelangelo: The Prophet Jeremiah

Jeremiah 26:1-15

A Plot to Murder

This confrontation between prophet and priests occurred in the year 609 B.C.E. at a time of tremendous political upheaval; the people in today’s reading were under tremendous political, spiritual, social and personal stress. Accusations of falsehood, of miss-reading and miss-interpreting the law are symptoms of a people and leaders who no longer trust one another or themselves. The message here, however, is as clear as the arguments: Judah’s fate has been sealed by her own actions.

When we read these verses we understand why and how such a great people fell into exile.  The wayward priests and false prophets believe that if they silence Jeremiah, they will keep their secrets hidden, and they will be safe. Of course the opposite is actually the case and if those who are no longer faithful might only listen and heed this true prophet’s words they will be saved. This is not far from what also happened with Christ several hundred years later. This is also not far from what happens to the prophets among us today.

We live in a world with robots and sustain ourselves with pre-packaged food, starving for honest reality and intimacy, looking for genuine nourishment. We can manipulate images, dub sounds, pay surgeons to re-arrange our bodies, and pop psychologists to sooth our minds. We have created a false world for ourselves in which we control and are all. And, like the priests of Jeremiah’s world, we have things wrong.

Catherine of Siena recounts that God says to her: I am who am, you are she who is notThis is an idea which we must do more than merely believe, we must feel it, act it, live it. We, like Jeremiah, live in a world which is too clever, too complicated and too overcome by itself.  But the faithful need not lament for there is always refuge, always a remedy.  When false priests and false prophets rage against us, the faithful must turn away from all the trappings, the trinkets, the overblown, the super sizes, the arguments and the words. We must turn and return to God.

And so we pray . . . Good, gentle, all-encompassing Lord . . .

Remind us that our greatness is in our smallness.

Recount to us the infinite times you have shown us compassion.

Recall for us the immeasurable ways you have measured out justice on our behalf.

Revivify us with your presence.

Hold us away from the false light of the finite. 

Draw us toward the life-giving light of the eternal.

Bring us home to you.  Amen.


Adapted from a reflection written on May 11, 2008.

To learn more about Catherine of Siena, visit: http://www.americancatholic.org/features/saints/saint.aspx?id=1368

For more quotes, visit: http://www.drawnbylove.com/Quotes.htm

Image from: https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/tag/lamentations/ 

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