Sunday, 31 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Why did Peter rebuke Jesus in today's gospel? IMHO this is how people dealt with loved ones who talked of early deaths. To talk of death is in some cultures akin to inviting death, and death is something to be shunned. But our human ways are not God's ways. Preventing the deaths of loved ones is a very human way, but sometimes God's way include letting loved ones die. It is the difficulty of this truth that has led many to be angry with and reject God. It is as if God is less important than their loved ones. But God wants us to set our minds on His interests, not ours.

Today's reading from Jeremiah talks about persecution- a social and emotional persecution so intense that it causes one to want to leave God. Many of us suffer similar persecutions in our lives as Christians. It's easy to feel righteous when we are persecuted in this way by non-believers, to say, "This is my vocation; this is what the Lord wants of me." But what if the persecution comes from fellow Christians? What if the actions of fellow Christian ministry leaders and helpers leave us feeling numb, rejected and lonely? And I' m not talking about fake Christians here, but good Christians who serve the Church regularly and well. Is such a 'persecution' from God or because one is not a good Christian? However let's take heart in the reading from Jeremiah. Jeremiah wanted to stop serving the Lord, but His message became like a fire locked up inside Jeremiah. Thus Jeremiah had to continue on serving the Lord. Thus it is with us. If the Lord wants us to serve nothing can stand in His way, no matter how numb, rejected and lonely we feel. And who knows, as we continue to serve we may end up feeling less of these feelings and become happier.

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