Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
(Jeremiah 7:23-28; Luke 11:14-23)
In today’s first readings Jeremiah accuses the people of Jerusalem of turning their backs on God. They have not been faithful to the Covenant that they have made with the Lord. The judgment could hardly be more severe. According to Jeremiah, they no longer even pretend to be faithful; they do not even say the word. The situation has not really improved by Jesus’ time. He sees the same hardness of heart shown toward God’s ways of justice and mercy. The people seem to refuse to accept Jesus as God’s prophet in order to follow their own preferences.
The same offense may be found in our society although, perhaps, magnified. Faithfulness to one’s baptismal promises is now considered a betrayal of self. Of major importance are the values that one chooses to recognize himself. Forget about one’s culture, family background, even previous choices, one must do what he thinks is necessary to do at the moment.
Faithfulness is an all-encompassing virtue. It acknowledges one’s readiness to live in the ways that we have professed. But we are not only faith to principles; we are also faithful to the people or the person who has imparted those principles. For us Christians this means faithfulness to the Lord Jesus. We promise to do as he commands because we know that he will provide our deep and lasting happiness.