Archive for September 6th, 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

hebrew-bibleJeremiah 36


Jeremiah is restricted – he can no longer visit the Temple – and so he sends his secretary to read out the words of prophecy. Baruch writes out the words sent by God and they are delivered to the King and his collaborators.  They listen . . . and then the King burns the scroll, thinking that he might manipulate God by obliterating his word. He is, of course, wrong.  And Jeremiah, in faithful dedication to God, re-dictates the message he has been asked to deliver. We might well wonder what emotion Jeremiah experiences most deeply. Is it anger, sadness, regret, anxiety, a sense of uselessness? Does he believe that he has failed? Or is he able to calm any negative emotion as he complies with God’s plan of guiding the people to the place they need to be? Does he somehow reach serenity about his predicament? Does he believe that he has failed God in some way?

When we believe we have fallen short in a task that God has put before us, we must turn back to God when we experience regret.  We must look for consolation, and God – being goodness itself – will always bring us back, even when we doubt that God constantly makes even the impossible possible. The mini-reflection in MAGNIFICAT yesterday evening puts things in its proper perspective: Peace lies in surrendering to the Lord in trust and living by his love, not in fretting over the wrongs done by others.  Undue concern over evils we cannot mend prevents us in taking true delight in him.  “By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies”.  Isaiah 30:15.  Commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act . . . Be still before the Lord and wait in patience; do not fret at the one who prospers; one who makes evil plots to bring down the needy and the poor.  Calm your anger and forget your rage; do not fret, it only leads to evil . . . A little while longer – and the wicked shall have gone.  Look at his place, he is not there.  Psalm 37

These verses bring us relief when we believe that we have failed; they offer us a refuge of calm when terror grips us. When we witness the king burning God’s message brought by a faithful servant, when we believe that pain and anguish have been experienced for nothing . . . when the panic descends to seize our senses, these are the verses that are God’s very breath upon us.  These are the verses we share today . . . hoping that we will not need them often.

Image from: http://www.catholic-convert.com/blog/2014/04/30/why-protestants-reject-7-books-of-the-bible-the-short-answer/

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Evening.” MAGNIFICAT. 27.1 (2010). Print.

Adapted from a reflection written on January 28, 2010.  

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