Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Jeremiah 1:1.4-10; Matthew 13:1-9)
The woman was confused about what to say. Her granddaughter had just confessed that she wanted to move in with her boyfriend. Then the younger asked her grandmother whether she would disown her if she did such a thing. Such a scene of conflicting values is reminiscent of the era of the prophet Jeremiah who is featured in the first reading today.
Jeremiah lives in the southern kingdom of Judah in the seventh and sixth centuries before Christ. The time of his calling as a prophet, which today’s reading reports, is particularly jaded. Manasseh, the nation’s king, has allowed the presence of Assyrian idols in the Temple area. Now God commissions the young Jeremiah to speak his truth to the people. It would be a tough assignment for a seasoned prophet. It is no wonder then that Jeremiah tries to shy away from the challenge.
Not only young people are living together outside marriage. Elders as well, whether to avoid the emotional or the legal entanglements of marriage, are opting for the sinful relationship. We certainly should not show approval for the practice. In fact, we should express our concern –with as much prayerful care as prophetic boldness – that the couple is offending our Creator and Redeemer.