Both Jesus and Jeremiah find themselves in difficult situations today. For Jeremiah it is the reality of being a prophet, the people do not like what God is calling them to and so they are going to take it out on the messenger, the prophet. For Jesus it is the reality that people just will not accept him. He has done many good things, but people focus in on what they see as a problem, they look passed all the good, they only see the negative.
Isn’t that often the case, wonderful things can be happening, yet people only focus on the negative. Whether we are talking about faith, church, religion, culture or society there can be many signs of hope, many actions that are good yet for some reason what is wrong, the negative, becomes the focus. We tend to look for what is wrong with a person, an experience or situation rather than what is right and good. At times it seems like we can make every positive story, situation, experience or person into a negative just give us time.
How can we overcome this? How can we be a positive life-giving person today? How can we find the good and the hope in life? Well I think Jeremiah and Jesus give us the answer.
Jeremiah in the midst of his struggle says, “But the Lord is with me….” Yes, life isn’t exactly the best at this moment, things are not going so well, but God is with me! Jeremiah turns a negative into a positive. Jeremiah finds hope in a struggling moment.
Jesus reminds the crowd to look for and believe in good works. In other words, find the goodness in the actions and works of yourself and others. Find what is right with the world, not what is wrong!
This is certainly a different way to live life and living this way will be challenged every day. The media and yes, I realize that it is not just the media or all the media’s fault, but with its twenty-four hour a day focus, its need to create news, it has helped us to constantly look for the negative. Let’s face it we like negative, we like seeing people’s faults and failings, negative stories sell. The stories that most often seem to capture the attention of the viewers are those that focus of the negatives of life. We search and hunt for all that is wrong. We seem to take delight in pointing the finger, in bringing a person down rather than finding the good and building up.
Perhaps our challenge today is to look for the good work in ourselves and others and to believe that God is always with us. Have a great Friday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart.
-Fr Paul Fagan, CP