Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jeremiah: Prophet Of The Remnant


In the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, 26:11-24, we're told: 
"The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people,
         'This man [Jeremiah] deserves death;
          he has prophesied against this city,
          as you have heard with your own ears.'
Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people:
          'It was the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard.
          Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds;
          listen to the voice of the Lord your God,
          so that the Lord will repent of the evil with which 
          he threatens you.
          As for me, I am in your hands;
          do with me what you think good and right.
          But mark well: if you put me to death,
          it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves,
          on this city and its citizens.
          For in truth it was the Lord who sent me to you,
          to speak all these things for you to hear.'
 Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, 'This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the Lord, our God, that he speaks to us.'” 
And they lowered Jeremiah by ropes into a 
Sometimes nothing seems right in this world:
  • Apparently, the rich get richer. 
  • Apparently, the poor get poorer. 
  • Apparently, the powerful become more powerful. 
  • Apparently, the weak become weaker. 
  • Evil appears to triumph. 
  • Good appears to be defeated.
Jeremiah the Prophet was a good man, dedicated to God and to His people. Through his preaching, Jeremiah was especially trying to call the rich and powerful persons of his time back to the Lord through repentance. Jeremiah was doing them a favor, but their response was to persecute him and, eventually, exile him from his homeland.
Saint John the Baptizer tried in vain to turn the rich and powerful King Herod from his evil ways. The result of his efforts cost John his head.
Our Lord Jesus – despite the fact that He did nothing but good throughout His entire life – died on the cross in agony and poverty.
What about US?
We can easily – though painfully – verify that the poor of this world have a pretty difficult life. That the weak of this world never receive preferential treatment, the way that those with political or social influence do.
So, shouldn’t WE then seek to acquire money and power by any means possible?
It’s logical, isn’t it?
Well ... God looks at things differently.
God’s logic crucifies our logical conclusions. And as His children, adopted by Baptism through His Son, Our Lord Jesus, we must embrace His logic and His values. Think about it like this:
  • Would you rather be Jeremiah or one of the people who persecuted him?
  • Would you rather be John the Baptizer or King Herod who casually ordered John’s decapitation?
  • Would you rather be the Lord Jesus or the Officials who plotted and achieved His death?
Better for us to be poor rather than rich and have God on our side.
Better for us to be weak rather than powerful and have God on our side.
Better for us to be like Our Lord Jesus than anything else.

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