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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 37’


Monday, September 6, 2021

hebrew-bibleJeremiah 36

Panic

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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Daniel 2: Public Life

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar

I am thinking of all the negative things that happen to Daniel which he calmly allows God to transform into good – his exile, his imprisonment, his gift as an interpreter of dreams which may be used against him . . . because of envy on the part of the king’s magicians.  He knows that the very prediction he is called to announce may bring about his execution.  Daniel withstands all of this – and even more when we read the entire story – by placing his trust, hope, faith and love in God . . . and by allowing God to work his wonderful will with those who are opposed to him, to the Jewish people and to their God.  I am reminded of Psalm 37: Commit your life to the Lord, trust in him and he will act, so that your justice break forth like the light, your cause like the noon-day sun.

Daniel does not let fear of failure or a reluctance to commit to God or to obey God to deter him from his path of fidelity.

Be still before the Lord and wait in patience; do not fret at the man who prospers; a man who makes evil plots to bring down the needy and the poor. 

Daniel does not abandon God or allow the world and its worries to lure him away from following God.

Calm your anger and forget your rage; do not fret, it only leads to evil.  For those who do evil perish; the patient shall inherit the land.

Daniel abides with God just as God abides with him.  Daniel waits upon the wisdom of the Lord, knowing that for God time is eternal.

A little longer – and the wicked shall have gone. 

Daniel knows that the only true emotion, the only lasting force is God’s love for us.  It is greater than anything we can imagine.  It is bolder, more persistent and persevering than anyone we know.  It is the only energy that matters . . . this love and peace of God that comes to us in the form of the man, Christ.

Look at his place, he is not there.  But the humble shall own the land and enjoy the fullness of peace.

Daniel makes a public statement when he expresses his love of God; and as we read his story we may join him to enter into our own public statement about our intensely personal relationship with God.

And so we might ask ourselves: Do we love God enough to make a public statement about our fidelity to him?

 For the humble shall own the land . . . and enjoy the fullness of peace.  Amen. 


A re-post from March 23, 2012. 

Image from: http://myyearofjubilee50.blogspot.com/2011/11/dan-man.html

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