Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
(Jeremiah 18:18-20; Matthew 20:17-28)
In a book and movie former Vice-President Al Gore seeks to demonstrate how overconsumption of fossil fuels is leading to increased heat in the atmosphere with serious environmental consequences. Gore titles his project An Inconvenient Truth because he realizes that addressing the problem will mean sacrifice for Americans. In the first reading Jeremiah is threatened for likewise broadcasting an inconvenient truth.
Jeremiah has chastised the people in the name of God. He has been particularly critical of their using the Sabbath for commerce and not giving it to the Lord. His effectiveness in preaching is testified by the fact that the citizens of Jerusalem plot to do him in. It is a familiar story of killing the messenger so that one does not have to heed the message.
We must grow in consciousness of overconsumption. It is leading to environmental catastrophe that even Pope Benedict has pointed out. It also distracts us from giving God His due. Lent, moves us in the opposite direction. We should be finding our sacrifices making us stronger, not weaker, in both body and spirit.