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DO WE TRUST IN THE LORD?

Father Francis's picture
Second Week of Lent

Jer. 18:18-2- & Mt. 20:17-28

'It's not fair!' Haven’t we all said this at some point of our lives? We’ve done our best and instead of being appreciated we are attacked and criticised. This is how Jeremiah felt because God had given him the job of speaking to the Jewish people, pointing out to them how they had gone astray, and leading them back to His friendship. All this was for their own good. Jeremiah had even prayed for them, that God would not punish them for their disobedience. Yet their only response was to plot his downfall and dig a pit for him.

But then God’s own Son, Jesus, met the same kind of opposition. He came into the world to show people that God is their loving Father. He wanted to save them from misery and from sin so that once again they could live in harmony with God and each other. Some accepted His message but there were others who rejected it. They despised Jesus' words, hated the work He was doing, and wanted to put a stop to it by destroying Him.

How could Jeremiah and Jesus continue their work in the face of such antagonism? They certainly did not find it easy. Jeremiah at one point begged God to release him from his task. Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, prayed that He might be spared torture and crucifixion. Yet they both knew they must not give up, having a firm conviction that what they were doing was right. It was what God wanted them to do. This gave them confidence to persevere. If they had abandoned their work, then God’s purposes would not have been accomplished and the opposition would have won. Naturally, there were times when they felt almost overwhelmed by the hostility around them, but at those moments of weakness they were able to turn to God for help. Today's Psalm suggests the prayer which Jeremiah and Jesus might have made to the Father: "I trust in you, Lord, you are my God. My life is in your hands. Deliver me from the hands of those who hate me."

So often we can be crushed and discouraged by criticism. We try to do what we believe is right. We put our best efforts into doing good work. Then we find our efforts are belittled, spiteful remarks are made about us, and we are left feeling unwanted. The unfairness of it all is very hurtful! How do we cope? We could fight back, exchanging insult for insult. Or we could give up, simply throwing in the towel. In either case, we would be playing into the hands of our enemies. We have to try and follow the example of Jeremiah and Jesus: provided we are convinced that we are doing God’s work, we should hold our head high and not surrender.

Lord Jesus we know that If God gives us a job to do, He will give us the strength to carry it out. In those moments when we feel we cannot handle a problem alone, help us to pray to You for the necessary strength and inner peace. Let us trust in Your, Lord, for You are our refuge.

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