Saturday, Fourth Week of Lent

Saturday, March 28

Saturday, Fourth Week of Lent


Liturgical readings are available here.

Prophet Jeremiah, resident of the town of Anatot close to Jerusalem, reports the words of his adversaries: they were hatching plots against me: “Let us destroy the tree in its vigor; let us cut him off from the land of the living, so that his name will be spoken no more”.

It all happened in the year 609 BC, when the Kingdom of Judah was under an imminent danger of the Assyrian attack. The political situation and allegiances were very complicated: the nation’s leadership was proposing to join the Egyptians and create a large coalition to fight oppose Assyrians. Jeremiah was suggesting to give up resistance, allow the Assyrians to take control of the country, but at least save the lives of people. Jeremiah knew that his words were taken as undermining the morals of the population and thus he had to expect persecution from the leaders of the country. In fact, he mentions: I knew it because the LORD informed me; at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings. Jeremiah understands himself like a trusting lamb led to slaughter.

This image of a suffering servant (also present in the book of the prophet Isaiah) sheds light on the life and death of Jesus. He is Messiah who takes away the sin of the world through his suffering. Jesus too was persecuted by members of his people and he too was an innocent victim.

Jeremiah prays for righteousness and vengeance: you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge, searcher of mind and heart, Let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you I have entrusted my cause! He is aware that justice must be done and since he is not able to achieve it on his own, he entrusts his cause to God. Jeremiah anticipates Jesus who as well entrusts into God’s hands his very life, but also his adversaries and executioners.

No-one will reach the perfection of Jesus, but we are all called to push forward on the way towards perfection.