Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Jeremiah cried out: Must good be repaid by evil? I can almost hear Jesus’ equally emphatic response: “No! But evil must be repaid by good!”
The doers of evil are clearly misguided. It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests, nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets… They are deaf to the truth which Jeremiah keeps speaking - just as doers of evil today believe that they are immune from God’s touch.
Our very human Jeremiah, who was sent by God to turn away [God’s] wrath from them, in frustration resorts to cursing his adversaries (see Jeremiah 18:19-23). In an incredible contrast, Jesus announces what he knows will happen to him: [He] will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified!
His disciples, then and now, don’t understand. Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first (Matt. 19:30). The last will be first, and the first will be last (Matt. 20:16). His disciples, then and now, quarrel about who is more important, who is most deserving, who is trying to upstage whom. But Jesus speaks clearly, to them and to us: The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many!
Lord, give us ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts to rejoice so that learning the truth of your love we might reincarnate your saving, healing presence to those who do evil around us!
- Fr. John M. Lee, C.P., is Retreat Director at Bishop Molloy retreat House, “The Passionist Spiritual Center in New York City”, www.bishopmolloy.org