Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Two Great Evils
The prophet Jeremiah in today’s first reading utters some of the most intense words of Scripture! ""Be appalled (šāmēm), O heavens, at this, And shudder (śāʿar)", i.e.bristle with terror". Jeremiah calls the whole cosmos to be stunned and horrified at two evils in his world. The first one is that the people have forsaken (ʿāzab) God. We live in a country that has allowed our laws and media to abandoned God as in Jeremiah’s day. But we have gone further by legally discarding Him from schools, public speech, and even largely from political life.
A beautiful and inspirational example was given with the Passionist Saint Inocencio and eight Christian Brothers. During the Spanish Civil War on October 9,1934, they were taken to a cemetery near their Catholic school and shot to death before their open graves. They refused to take down crucifixes and stop teaching religion. These wonderful men paid a terrible price for the importance of God in education of the young! Jeremiah, I am sure, was proud of them.
For many have not only jilted God but even have been convinced that He is not important in modern life. Jeremiah some twenty five hundred years ago saw this as an absolute stunning and shuttering disaster. In the last 50 years we have experienced enormous cultural change. Much of this change has been nothing less than wonderful. One thing that has not been changed is our desperate need for God!
Jeremiah forcefully reminds us that even with all the astonishing improvements in modern times our life will turn into a catastrophe without an intimacy with God. So he tells us the second evil. We will be like "broken cisterns that can’t hold water". It seems to me the perennial challenge of life is to thoroughly live and take advantage of the present world without losing God. Paul reminds us that Christ "is everything in everyone" (panta in pasin) Col 3;11 Our life will forever be broken without Him "He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent." Colossians 1:18
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Louisville, Kentucky.