Friday, Fifth Week of Lent

Friday, April 3

Friday, Fifth Week of Lent


Liturgical readings are available here.

Jeremiah differs significantly from many other OT books, as he conveys teaching not only through the words of his book, but also through his very life. He lives the bitterness of the evens he talks about, he is involved in the story.

Today’s reading is a part of the longer section called lamentations which express the bitterness accumulated in his heart. He even utters a prayer for vengeance: O LORD of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart; Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause. Such a prayer certainly does not fit very well with how we think about the message of the gospel, the teaching of the OT, and even with any prophet as a role-model. One way to look at such a prayer and draw a personal profit from it, is reading it as an expression of trust even in the context of pain and suffering. Instead of taking things into his hands, he is confident that God will ultimately take his side and make things right.

Jeremiah in many respects becomes a model for Jesus. Jesus as well keeps calling people to conversion, but rather they attempt to stone him for a second time. Jesus had the courage to stand in the middle: between the sins of people and the wrath of God that people would deserve. Ultimately, God’s wrath proves to be love, but Jesus is hit by human malice and dies on the cross.

Jesus shows no fear or incertitude, no false bravery or heroism; he goes his way, connected with the Father: If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize (and understand) that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.

Choosing and living an absolute dependance on the Father gives us certitude that we cannot slip. We can and we still will experience hostility, opposition, hate, violence… Human malice, intentional or unintentional, can kill us as it happened with Jesus. But thanks to him we know that God proves his love.