Archive for August 24th, 2021

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Jeremiah2Jeremiah 28

False Confidence

We grow accustomed to easy words that support a belief we hold dearly; we reject words that bring news we do not want to hear. We live secure in our possessions and good health; we spend too little time thinking of those who have little or even nothing. In our fear of change and upheaval, we place all of our confidence in those who cannot help us when calamity strikes – as it always does. In our worry about how we will maneuver around or over the obstacles in our lives, we build up false confidence in events and agencies that are fallible and finite. And we turn our backs on the Living God who creates, heals, restores and builds up. Today we hear the story of Hananiah, the false prophet who wrongly predicts a brief two-year period of exile, and who dies in the face of the false confidence he hoped to inspire.

Removing the wooden yoke from Jeremiah’s neck, Hananiah enters into a reality he creates in his mind. Jeremiah went away, verse 11 tells us, but then he returns, unable to keep silent. In verse 17 we hear that Hananiah dies in the seventh month of that year. Jeremiah lives on to continue his call to anyone who will listen.

God says: You do not need others to build you up. Do I not waken you every morning, feed you every noontime, and call you to rest each night? Do I not abide with you even when your anger or fear turn you away from me? Do I not continue to accompany you on the many roads you take to escape my gaze? Fear not, I am with you always. Even until the end of the age. I will heal you always, calling you home to me despite all that has gone wrong for you. I will restore you and set you back into your promised place, just as I have always done for Jeremiah and his faithful remnant.

As we struggle to obey Babylon in our place of exile, let us remember these two prophets Hananiah and Jeremiah, one speaking for self and his false leaders, and the other for God alone.

Enter the word confidence into the blog search bar and let us consider what or who inspire us to have confidence. Let us consider where our confidence lies. And let us determine if we might say that our confidence is false or just.

Or . . . return to the earlier blog posts from the beginning of Jeremiah’s prophecy and reflect on how God’s promise might offer hope and might balance the difficult periods in our lives. 

For a reflection on The Duel of the Prophets, click on the image above or go to: http://www.passionistjpic.org/2010/12/duel-of-the-prophets/ 

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