Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Jeremiah 15:10;16-21; Matthew 13:44-46)
St. Teresa of Avila, the mystic-reformer of the sixteenth century, once complained to God of the mistreatment she was experiencing. God responded, “This is how I treat my friends, Teresa.” The saint replied, “Well, then, no wonder you have so few!” Teresa echoes Jeremiah’s sentiments in the first reading today.
Jeremiah has faithfully and selflessly served the Lord. He has performed bizarre activities like extracting from the earth a rotten loincloth to impress God’s message on a hard-headed Judah. Yet the only recognition he receives is condemnation. Jeremiah’s protest sounds as if God were compensating his efforts with something akin to water-boarding. He says, “You have become for me a treacherous brook whose waters do not abide!”
At times people will misconstrue our best efforts like Judah misjudges Jeremiah’s. When we do something out of love for others, we will hear people questioning our motives. “What’s in it for her?” they might ask. In these trials we must resist bitterness or plan revenge. We are wise to appropriate for ourselves God’s promise to Jeremiah and dramatically witnessed in Jesus’ resurrection, “...I am with you, to deliver and rescue you.”