July 28, 2020

Jer 14: 17-22

You shall say to them this word: Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter—my people—is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound. If I go out into the field, look—those killed by the sword! And if I enter the city, look—those sick with famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land, and have no knowledge. 

Have you completely rejected Judah? Does your heart loathe Zion? Why have you struck us down so that there is no healing for us? We look for peace, but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead. We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors, for we have sinned against you. 

Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us. Can any idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Is it not you, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for it is you who do all this.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray!

After a year of theology school, I notice more than ever when a priest sidesteps a tough first reading to get to the Good News of the Gospel. I can feel that pull, too. But what about those days when even Jesus offers cold comfort? It may be back to the first reading after all!

Often we turn to the Word of God not just for comfort and consolation, but for information: What does God want us to understand about our journey here on earth? Hard readings like today’s from the prophet Jeremiah ask to be read in context. Earlier, in Jeremiah 14:11, God tells Jeremiah clearly, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people.” But Jeremiah pushes his luck: he cannot stop praying. Even when God says, Stop praying!, Jeremiah pleads, argues, and inches his way closer and closer to the Lord: “We set our hope in you!”

These aren’t easy days, but we share a job as Christians: We never stop praying!

Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the Jesuits West Province who begins his second year of Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA this fall.

Prayer

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

—Robert Wadsworth Lowry, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” (1869)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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July 28, 2020

Jer 14: 17-22

You shall say to them this word: Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter—my people—is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound. If I go out into the field, look—those killed by the sword! And if I enter the city, look—those sick with famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land, and have no knowledge. 

Have you completely rejected Judah? Does your heart loathe Zion? Why have you struck us down so that there is no healing for us? We look for peace, but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead. We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord, the iniquity of our ancestors, for we have sinned against you. 

Do not spurn us, for your name’s sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us. Can any idols of the nations bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Is it not you, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for it is you who do all this.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray!

After a year of theology school, I notice more than ever when a priest sidesteps a tough first reading to get to the Good News of the Gospel. I can feel that pull, too. But what about those days when even Jesus offers cold comfort? It may be back to the first reading after all!

Often we turn to the Word of God not just for comfort and consolation, but for information: What does God want us to understand about our journey here on earth? Hard readings like today’s from the prophet Jeremiah ask to be read in context. Earlier, in Jeremiah 14:11, God tells Jeremiah clearly, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people.” But Jeremiah pushes his luck: he cannot stop praying. Even when God says, Stop praying!, Jeremiah pleads, argues, and inches his way closer and closer to the Lord: “We set our hope in you!”

These aren’t easy days, but we share a job as Christians: We never stop praying!

Joe Kraemer, SJ, is a scholastic of the Jesuits West Province who begins his second year of Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA this fall.

Prayer

My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife,
I hear that music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?

—Robert Wadsworth Lowry, “How Can I Keep from Singing?” (1869)


Please share the Good Word with your friends!