We are halfway through Jeremiah! (my math is almost as bad as Fr. Mike’s 🤪)
We have two more days left with our buddy Daniel!!
OK GOSH YOU GUYS!!
These readings are PHENOMENAL!!
THEY ARE SO INCREDIBLE!!
Jeremiah is kind of a longer chapter today
God asks (aks? 😉) Jeremiah to WRITE SOMETHING DOWN
Jeremiah 30:2-3, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land which I gave to their fathers…”
This is SUCH AN ENCOURAGING MOMENT!
Jeremiah Chs 31-33 are a SUPER ENCOURAGING BREAK in the midst of Jeremiah being the WEEPING PROPHET and his PROPHECY OF WOE
Of course, it starts pretty brutally in so many ways
Jeremiah 30:6, “...can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale?”
There is basically A LOT OF PAIN
Remember how Jeremiah had worn that YOKE for a month?
And then the false prophet Hananiah had taken that yoke and broken it and lied about Nebuchadnezzar being removed
Jeremiah said, “Yup. You can remove the yoke of wood but you will replace it with a yoke of iron.”
Jeremiah is NOT ALL WOE
Jeremiah 30:8, “And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord of hosts, that I will break the yoke from off their neck, and I will burst their bonds, and strangers shall no more make servants of them. But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.”
IT IS SO SO POWERFUL!!
Remember, Hananiah said it would take TWO YEARS
Jeremiah said it would take SEVENTY YEARS and then they would come back
This is SO POWERFUL because God makes this PROMISE
God says, “I will allow nations to be gone. I will allow them to fall into oblivion.”
When was the last time you met an Ammonite?
When was the last time you met a Jebusite?
You meet someone of the People of Israel any day of the week
God’s People have SURVIVED when virtually every other people from that area in history have not
The People of Israel, as God has said in other places in the Old Testament, were NOT THE GREATEST
NOT THE STRONGEST
NOT THE WISEST
THEY BELONGED TO HIM
Jeremiah 30:22, “And you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
That is WHY the people of Israel CONTINUE TO THIS DAY
BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE BLESSING OF THE LORD
So we continue to pray that our Jewish friends recognize their ONE TRUE GOD
THE LORD IS GOD
HE ALONE IS GOD
AND THEY LOVE HIM WITH ALL THEIR HEART MIND SOUL AND STRENGTH
THEY RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT THE MESSIAH HAS COME IN JESUS CHRIST
AND ALL GOD’S PROMISES HAVE COME TO FULFILLMENT IN JESUS CHRIST
So we pray for that
We pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters to recognize this
Onwards to Daniel Ch 12
Daniel Chs 13 and 14 are not necessarily in Protestant Bibles (Are you· curious why? I got you covered 😉 https://tinyurl.com/Shorter-Bible-Why God Bless Jimmy Akin and Catholic Answers 😁)
BUT they are present in the Deuterocanonical writings
So guess what?
We will be reading them!!
We have the story of Susanna WHICH IS INSANE!!
Daniel 12:1, “At that time shall rise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people.”
We just have to give a shout-out to St. Michael the Archangel
Daniel 12:2, “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
This is one of the places in the Old Testament the recognition of LIFE AFTER DEATH
NOT ONLY THAT!!!
BUT THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD!!
One of the beliefs of CHRISTIANS that goes ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE APOSTLES!!
WE BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY!!
This is SO IMPORTANT
We believe that in the FINAL AGE, when Christ comes again, that ALL THOSE WHO ARE DEAD WILL RISE!!
ALL THOSE WHO ARE DEAD WILL HAVE THEIR BODIES BACK!!
Those who are WITH GOD will have EVERLASTING LIFE
Those who are WITHOUT GOD, those who have NOT CHOSEN GOD, will GET WHAT THEY HAVE CHOSEN
THOSE WHO HAVE NOT CHOSEN GOD WILL RISE TO SHAME AND EVERLASTING CONTEMPT (EVERLASTING!! FOREVER!! ETERNITY!! 🤯🤯🤯)
EVERY ONE OF US IS CHOOSING HEAVEN OR HELL AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT!!
It is a REAL CHOICE that God has given to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US!!
IT IS A SOBERING REALITY THAT IS WORTH REALLY MEDITATING ON
“Ok God, am I on a trajectory that is leading me AWAY from you? Or am I on a trajectory that is leading me TOWARDS you? Am I on a trajectory that is leading me to RISE FOR ETERNITY TO SHAME AND EVERLASTING CONTEMPT? Or am I on a trajectory that will GIVE YOU GLORY FOR ETERNITY?”
THAT IS THE QUESTION!!
Daniel Ch 13 we have this long story of Susanna
Susanna and her VIRTUE
Susanna and her RIGHTEOUSNESS
Susanna and her GOODNESS
And of course Daniel’s WISDOM
Those are the things we should focus on
We should focus on her UNWILLINGNESS TO GIVE IN
We should focus on her UNWILLINGNESS TO COMPROMISE
We should focus on her UNWILLINGNESS TO LIE
We know so many things that have happened in the news like this
Even Daniel says this, “There have been women of Israel whom you had your way with because they were AFRAID. They were AFRAID of you.”
NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE WEAK!!
When it comes to ANYONE who has been assaulted
IT IS NOT BECAUSE THAT PERSON WAS WEAK
IT IS BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID
IT IS BECAUSE THEY WERE SO OVERWHELMED BY WHAT WAS HAPPENING
The stories of powerful men who have ABUSED WOMEN BY USING THEIR POWER is so OVERWHELMING
So the story of these TWO ELDERS OF ISRAEL
Again, this is across the board
OUTSIDE THE CHURCH
INSIDE THE CHURCH
ANYONE using their power to GET WHAT THEY WANT FROM SOMEONE
THIS is the same story
We see it happen AGAIN AND AGAIN
Even though we want to focus on Susanna’s VIRTUE and on Daniel’s WISDOM, we have to look at the perversion of these two elders
It essentially says that they looked upon Susanna and allowed themselves to look upon Susanna, who was beautiful
Daniel 13:8, “The two elders used to see her every day, going in and walking about, and they began to desire her. And they perverted their minds and turned away their eyes from looking to Heaven or remembering righteous judgments.”
This is how it happens FOR ANY ONE OF US!!
In this case it is LUST
In this case it is SEXUAL SINS
If we allow our hearts to be OWNED BY IT
If we allow our hearts to be DIRECTED BY IT
ALL THESE THINGS!!
They allow themselves to look AWAY FROM HEAVEN and to look after the OBJECT OF THEIR DESIRE
In this case, it was the object of their LUST
AND THAT DESTROYED THEIR HEARTS
Daniel 13:10, “Both were overwhelmed with passion for her.”
Now, they were not overwhelmed RIGHT AWAY
THEY TURNED AWAY THEIR EYES FROM LOOKING TO HEAVEN OR REMEMBERING RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENTS!!
THIS IS SO KEY FOR US!!
In a few weeks we will read the Gospel of Matthew
IT WILL BE AWESOME!!
We will hear the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter walking on water too
But when Peter saw how strong the wind and waves were, he became afraid and he began to sink
Peter took his eyes OFF JESUS and looked at what was OPPOSING HIM
Peter took his eyes OFF JESUS and looked at what was FEARFUL TO HIM, WHAT COULD HURT HIM
Now we do that when we take OUR EYES OFF JESUS and look at the DISTORTIONS OF OUR MIND
THE DISTORTION OF OUR DESIRES
THAT WILL CAUSE US TO DO WHAT PETER DID!!
THAT WILL CAUSE US TO SINK!!
THAT WILL CAUSE US TO DO WHAT THESE TWO ELDERS DID!!
THAT WILL CAUSE US TO ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE DISTORTED!!
ONE HUGE THING is the recognition that Daniel says, “Listen, the Lord…”
And I’m not sure if Fr. Mike “squirreled” here but we move to Susanna’s Prayer and I can’t tell if we got back to Fr. Mike’s original train of thought here...🤔
Fr. Mike LOVES Susanna’s Prayer
He couldn’t even get through it…
Sorry we were talking about Daniel but here we are
IT IS JUST SO POWERFUL
Daniel 13:42-43, “O eternal GOd, who discern what is secret, who are aware of all things before they come to be, you know that these men have borne false witness against me. And now I am to die! Yet I have done none of the things that they have wickedly invented against me!”
AND THE VERY NEXT LINE…IT IS FIVE WORDS LONG (Not FOUR...Man oh man, he really isn’t good at math 🤪 We all love Fr. Mike anyway!!)
Daniel 13:44, “The Lord heard her cry.”
OH MY GOSH!!
WE ALL KNOW THIS
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US WHO HAS EVER CRIED OUT TO THE LORD
We heard this yesterday with Daniel from the moment he STARTED PRAYING TO THE LORD and GOD HEARD HIS PRAYERS
GOD HEARS YOUR PRAYERS!!
You might be someone who is in a position like SUSANNA
Where you did not get delivered
But instead, you were hurt in a DEVASTATING WAY
You might be in a position like DANIEL, and you fight every day for those people who are hurt
You might be in a position like JEREMIAH, who put your heart and soul into helping people but they just REJECT YOU
You might be in a position like the TWO ELDERS, and you look at your heart and say, “Gosh, Lord, my heart is SO BROKEN. My heart is SO TWISTED. I have taken my eyes off the righteous one. I have taken my heart away from His righteous teachings. I have looked at things and I have placed them at the center of my heart and what they have done is they have DISTORTED ME. I can’t SEE CLEARLY ANYMORE.”
Any given day, we can be ANY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE
This is a BIG COMMUNITY
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE IS REPRESENTED IN US
So we say, “Ok God, if I am experiencing this GREAT SHAME, this GREAT PAIN, of memories, or even maybe recently of being HURT AND ABUSED, Lord God, we lift up that person right now who is listening to this. If a person is in the position of Daniel, trying to fight for these people, trying to work hard, Lord God we lift them up before you. If you are in Jeremiah’s position trying to constantly love the people around you well, but you are being rejected and turned away and feeling isolated more and more the more you love, Lord God we lift them up to you. And Lord, those of us whose hearts are DISTORTED because we have given our hearts to MONEY, to GREED, to LUST, to VENGEANCE, to UNFORGIVENESS, to ANYTHING OTHER THAN YOU, Lord God please we lift them up to you too. Because you love EVERYONE. And you desire that we come to know you and to be YOURS. ‘I will be your God. And you will be my people’, you say. Lord God, help us to be your people.”
FR. MIKE IS PRAYING FOR YOU
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER