Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Readings: Jer 18:18-20; PS 31:5-6, 14, 15-16; Mt 20:17-28
Notes: It is always difficult to restrain oneself when under attack.
Especially when you know who is contriving and what they intend.
It is most difficult indeed!
Who wants to live in Ukraine today given the plot against them?!
Jesus too had the problem of Jeremiah and Ukraine.
His answer is to be a servant leader.
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
“Come,” they said, “let us devise a plot against Jeremiah, for instruction will not perish from the priests, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. Come, let us destroy him by his own tongue. Let us pay careful attention to his every word.”
Jeremiah is stunned by the response to his intersessions on behalf of the people.
Even as they conspire to kill him, he reminds the Lord how he prayed for them. This is a truly remarkable man. But still he wants justice for himself, even if this request is instinctive not intentional.
Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.
The Lord will be his justice. It is instructive to understand that Jeremiah is exposing his pain that the Lord may answer however the Lord sees fit to answer (“in the time of your anger“).
But you, LORD, know
all their planning for my death.
Do not forgive their crime,
and their sin do not blot out from your sight!
Let them stumble before you,
in the time of your anger act against them.
Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” In your hands is my destiny; rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Death is our ultimate enemy. Death is defeated in Christ and we can count on our redemption. All other enemies are abstractions or derivations of death. Let God be our Vengeance. Let God be our salvation.
Verse before the Gospel
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
The Third Prediction of the Passion.
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and had some ideas of how to be victorious and enjoy the fruits of success on the battle.
Jesus kindly reset the expectation.
Leadership is sacrifice in the face of oppression.
The Lord, Our God, sacrifices himself for the liberation of all people.
- Defend your homeland.
- Expel the aggressor.
- Leave vengeance to God.
- Repentance is always possible, until the last breath.
Peace be with you,