Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent

Readings of the day: RB 22 Sleeping Arrangements for the Community
Mass: Jr 18:18-20; Resp. Ps 31; Mt 20:17-28
The Prophet Jeremiah, Michelangelo
The reading from the Prophet Jeremiah and the Gospel make me think of Psalm 1. The psalmist provides a commentary of sorts on both. Somehow it fits, not without a shift in the verses, to be shared for further pondering. 

Happy indeed is the man
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord
and who ponders his law day and night.

Jeremiah warned the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem to return from their evil ways; to reform their ways and deeds. In response, the people plotted against Jeremiah; to destroy him by his own tongue. 

Must good be repaid with evil that they should dig a pit to take me life?

Jesus predicts the Passion for the third time.

The Son of Man will be handed over,
condemned to death, mocked and scourged and crucified.

The choice to stand out from the crowd and do good, or join the crowd and do evil.

For they are like winnowed chaff
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand,
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Still, we remember Jesus’ words: The Son of Man will be raised on the third day.

He is like a tree that is planted
beside flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season
and whose leaves never fade;
and all that he does shall prosper.
Not so are the wicked, not so!

It is easier said than done. Even when we think we have the strength to go against the masses, to not join in the jeering, to not bring down the winner or the most popular, we aren’t able to carry through. We remember St Paul’s words: ‘What I do I do not understand. I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate’ (Rm 7:15). The following commentary on Psalm 1 provides another approach: ‘It is better still to remember that we have a powerful companion along the one road, but along the other we are alone.’ Or the words of Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471): ‘When there is a choice to be made, take the narrow way. This alone will make you more like Christ.’


We can support one another,
and face every kind of challenge with courage and hope,
when we draw our strength from Jesus.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, Feb. 28, 2018)

Let us pray for the grace.

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