Day 234: Jeremiah Complains

Jeremiah 12:1-6 Jeremiah questioned God about the prosperity of the evildoers and the persecution of the good. The Lord indicated that the present trials were a preparation for still greater ones in the near future. 

Ch 12:7-17 God allowed the Promised Land to be conquered by foreign invaders on account of Israel’s sins. Israel had an opportunity to repent; moreover, the pagan invaders would be welcomed and shown mercy if they would repent of their own sins.

Ch 12:7 Christ referenced this verse in his lament over Jerusalem when he said, “Your house is forsaken and desolate” (Mt 23:38; cf Lk 13:35).

Ch 12:14-15 St. James paraphrased these verses at the Council of Jerusalem when he argued that Gentiles should be welcomed into the Church without the requirement of circumcision: “God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name’” (Acts 15:13-17).

Ch 13:1-11 God’s people should cling to him just as a well-fitted loincloth clings to a man. If the people would reject God’s loving overtures, much self-imposed tribulation would await them. 

Ch 13:12-14 The wine jars bring to mind a happy celebration, but for the Lord they represented the wrath that would descend upon the people. The population’s willful alienation from God’s covenant made them directly responsible for their demise.

Ch 13:15-27 The various sections and prophecies of Jeremiah do not necessarily follow a chronological order as seen in these verses. This prophecy probably came after the first wave of exiles was taken to Babylon. Jeremiah’s experience of preaching conversion to a stubborn people must have been frustrating, and at times (as in this prophecy) he appeared almost resigned to Judah’s failure to heed his warnings. Unless the Jewish people recommitted themselves to embracing their covenant with God and keeping the Mosaic Law, they would be especially prone to sin. (CCC 1732-2380)

Ezekiel 41:1-26 The nave, or “holy place,” was accessible only to Temple priests and contained the altar of incense and the altar for the bread offering. Also present therein was the Holy of Holies, the most sacred space, where the Ark of the Covenant was housed together with the mercy seat, which symbolized the presence of God. No one could enter the Holy of Holies except for the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement (in Hebrew, Yom Kippur), in order to offer sacrifices and seek forgiveness from God for his sins and the sins of the people. (CCC 433)

Ch 42:1-20 The outbuildings adjoined the Temple and served as both a residence for the Temple priests and a place to consume the sacrificial offerings made in the Temple. The entire Temple complex was set apart from the rest of the city by a perimeter wall emphasizing the sacred space of the Temple grounds.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you so much. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Word. Thank you for the gift of just being able to be a part of this community, to know that there are people praying for us and with us, people who are listening to your Word, all of us who are broken, all of us who struggle with so many things, and yet we continue to come back to this place. We continue to allow you to speak to us. We continue to give you permission to know our hearts, and you do. And you do speak to us. And you do know our hearts, Lord God. Even in the midst of our woundedness, even in the midst of our brokenness, even in the midst of how we’ve failed to be the kind of men and women that you’ve created and redeemed us to be, you still call us back to yourself. Thank you so much. And may you be glorified. May you be praised. May you be loved not only by the hearts around this world, but also by our hearts. May our hearts be the kinds of hearts that can love you the way you deserve to be loved. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”