Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
(Jeremiah7:23-28; Luke 11:14-23)
The other day Pope Francis preached that worldliness transforms souls so that they lose consciousness of reality. They no longer see other people as images of God worthy of respect but as object of exploitation. This refusal to see, this blindness runs through both readings today.
Jeremiah speaks of the people’s diffidence to the will of God. He says that God desires to bring them to happiness but they refuse to follow his lead. The gospel echoes this faithlessness on the part of the people. Jesus has cast out a demon – a sign that the reign of God has finally arrived. But witnesses make excuses to withhold their belief in him. Frustrated, Jesus draws a line in the sand. “Whoever is not with me,” he says, “is against me.”
We pray that we have really made an option for Jesus. Sometimes it is hard to tell because we know that the human person has a million ways to deceive herself. Yet we know that the best prescription for making an authentic choice for Jesus is to imitate his ways – all of them from prayer in the early morning to serving others well after the sun goes down.