Meditation for 17th May 2022

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Help Us To Love

Jeremiah, ‘The Weeping Prophet’ has been the subject of our attention. (I belong to a small group)

Having examined the book of Jeremiah, I was amazed by his, passion, commitment, suffering and his word.

Of his abuse:

’They mocked me in song all day long’

Lam: 3.14

Timid by nature, struggling and making plain his anguish and feelings about God, he remains fearless and faithful to his calling.

God spoke to him and said:

‘Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim my message’  

 Jer: 7:2

The Book of Jeremiah is forty chapters. In producing such a record of the events of that time, he reveals his devotion and above all his great love for his Lord God.

His urgency is to convince the people that their back steps into easy and selfish ways will subsequently damage others and themselves. This behaviour is also exposing them to God’s anger and wrath.

They have been cruising along this downward path. Occasionally picking up and acknowledging, agreeing and saying ‘Yes, well OK’… With no heart for it and as generally happens, everything seems unaffected, initially, they appear unscathed, then they fail and fall…

‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord it’s God or responded to correction. Truth has perished’

 Jer: 7.27

When Jeremiah is putting together the five ‘Dirges’ of Lamentations, the people have fallen so deeply into their selfish ways, God needed them to know the consequences of such actions, (or the lack of any loving action!) and lays out proposed punishment.

Happily and eventually, in chapter 5, they repent!

Jeremiah’s anguish and abuse seems like an overshadowing of The Passion of Christ.

Jeremiah suffered trying to bring the people to God, to find forgiveness, love and to build a new kingdom, to the glory of God.

Christ in dying for our sins, opened the ever loving way of the Trinity, for our eternity.

Today with the coming of a world wide pandemic, we seem exposed: A selfish world in need of a long, slow, look at itself…

I have witnessed a couple of affirming experiences of passion and commitment that have given me hope, in what often seems such a selfish world.

I have got to know her over recent months. She recognises that she’s come along way. ‘Such love has flowed into my heart, more than I’d ever held before.’ She is burning to share this with others.

I can see, on those occasions, when those gathered to listen (shuffling of feet!) are not prepared. Their silence, in listening, the atmosphere is one of tolerance rather than a welcome invitation.

However, the effect on the room, of her voice and words, has a thoughtful quality and causes a pause and a warmth of feeling. 

In her obvious joy (and courage!) she reaches hearts in a unique and blessed way. She is sharing God’s love. Showing how free and uncomplicated is that Great Love.

I watched a short video this week. It showed a carer in a home who was determined to share some therapeutic loving music with a very old and silent resident.

Quietly, she spoke, held and soothed, by gently massaging first her hands, and then, slowly, tentatively, her face and began softly, to sing. She sang a hymn from the elderly residents childhood. Gradually, the elderly lady became utterly relaxed, she began to mouth the words… and then to sing! 

She was released from her silent and still shell. Alive with loving company, action and song.

A touching transformation through generous love.

Thy Kingdom Come! Thy will be done!

God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere.

Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed that we may all become one.

We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord.’ Amen.

Father Richard Rohr

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