Friday of Week 5 of Lent – First Reading

Commentary on Jeremiah 20:10-13

Jeremiah the prophet, God’s spokesman, is attacked and denounced on all sides by his own people.

“Terror on every side!” is the mocking call of Jeremiah’s critics, satirising his constantly gloomy predictions. “Let us denounce him!” – in the way that he constantly denounces the behaviour of others.

Even his friends abandon him.

All my close friends
are watching for me to stumble.

They are waiting for him to make some fatal mistake:

Perhaps he can be enticed,
and we can prevail against him
and take our revenge on him.

Jesus was treated in exactly the same way by Pharisees and scribes constantly trying to catch him out in violation of the Law. They ‘plant’ a disabled man in a synagogue on a Sabbath day to see if he will heal him. They ask him if it is right or not to give taxes to Caesar – where either a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer would be equally incriminating.

But Jeremiah has confidence in his God and his attackers will not prevail:

But the Lord is with me…my persecutors will stumble,
and they will not prevail.

For his God is a God of justice and truth…a God who is on the side of the needy:

Sing to the Lord;
praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
from the hands of evildoers.

The needy one, ebion, or the poor, anaw, is used in a religious sense: ill-treated by people but confident in God, looking to Yahweh for support. By Jeremiah’s time, the term ‘poor/needy’ had become virtually synonymous with ‘righteous’, someone whose total trust and dependence is on God.

Ultimately, Jeremiah knows, truth and justice will prevail no matter what some people try to do. It is a belief that we need to remember ourselves. It is a belief we see realised in Jesus. They could kill his body, but not his Spirit.

Comments Off on Friday of Week 5 of Lent – First Reading

Printed from LivingSpace - part of Sacred Space
Copyright © 2024 Sacred Space :: :: All rights reserved.