Wednesday of the Second Week
Lord, I offer you my sadness, may it lead to seeing the beauty in the past, present and future. Peter O'Sullivan SJ
Entering into prayer
A place for prayer: Recall a place where you feel at peace . . . imagine it if you can . . . or in some way get a sense of it . . . what do you notice about it . . . let the Holy Spirit be there with you . . . in the breeze or the air you breathe . . .
Today's Scripture (Jeremiah 18: 18-20)
Then they said, ‘Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah—for instruction shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us bring charges against him, and let us not heed any of his words.’
Give heed to me, O Lord,
and listen to what my adversaries say!
Is evil a recompense for good?
Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before you
to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them.
Food for Thought
At the beginning of the book of Jeremiah, the Lord called Jeremiah and gave him a mission “to tear up and knock down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant”. He was not promised success; today, we learn of the plots his enemies made against him. He would end up languishing in a dungeon. Later legends tell us that these enemies put him to death. Many have recognised him as a predecessor of Christ. Today we listen to Jeremiah at prayer. Even though he knew that they deserved the consequences of their actions, he still understood that it was his duty to plead to God on behalf of his people.
Suggestions for prayer
You may wish to read today’s Gospel passage (Matthew 20: 17-28) and compare Jeremiah’s request with the request that the mother of the sons of Zebedee made to Jesus in today’s Gospel. She wanted them to have places at the right and left of Christ in his kingdom. Her misguided prayer receives a rare statement from Jesus which states the purpose of his mission. He had come not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
What words or phrases from today’s readings stand out? Have you ever felt like Jeremiah, beset by difficulties, with people against you? How did you move past that feeling?
Lent is a good time to pray that we may listen to the words of Jesus, not only when they attract us, but also when they are difficult and remind us how much following him might cost as we try to change what is rotten in our society, and to build up and plant the noble and good.
In today’s prayer we may wish to consider how we can serve others. Do we plead for others in our prayer life, or think only of ourselves? Do we think only of the causes of those we know well, or do we also consider the needs of the world and the building of a fairer world?
How are you going to respond today?
During Lent, we try to raise the quantity and quality of our prayer. We should try to pray not only for ourselves, but for the whole world, and especially for those for whom prayer finds no place in life. Through prayer and generous self-giving, we place ourselves together with the distinguished company of the prophets and beside Jesus himself.
Image for the day
- How do you think it felt to be Jeremiah?
- Have you ever felt ignored, ostracised or even that people plotted against you?
- What would you like to say to Jesus about this?
Examen (Review of prayer)
When you come towards the end of your time of prayer, or at the end of your day, talk to God about what has come up for you, what went well and what didn’t. End with a formal prayer, such as the Lord’s Prayer/Our Father.