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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do you take your prophetic task seriously and tell the truth whenever you see evil around you? - Daily Reflections July 20, 2016


THE “WEEPING PROPHET”
 
Since we begin today our daily readings from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, let us have a brief look at this great prophet. He is often called the “weeping prophet” because he suffered like no other prophet for the courageous messages he had to proclaim.
       Jeremiah lived in the seventh century B.C. He came from Anathoth, a village north of Jerusalem, and he spent most of his prophetic career in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Jeremiah began to prophesy during the reign of King Josiah of Judah. He was called to be a prophet while he was still a youth and so he told the Lord, “I am too young.”
       But God assured him that he had been chosen already when he was in his mother’s womb. As a sign that there would be no cause for celebration in Judah, God commanded him not to marry.
      Often Jeremiah spoke against those who thought that Temple worship protected them from the consequences of sin. So he was repeatedly arrested and King Jehoiakim had his prophecies burned. But Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch, produced a new copy of the oracles. Jeremiah remained near Jerusalem while the Babylonians captured and destroyed the city, but later his friends took him to Egypt where he spent the rest of his life. A Jewish legend has it that he was killed in Egypt by his own countrymen.
      Jewish prophets like Jeremiah were not men who predicted the future. They pointed at the evils of their time, at the sins of kings and people, at the violation of the sacred covenant with God, and called for repentance. They had to tell the people what they did not like to hear: the truth.
     And yet, in spite of all persecution, imprisonment and harassment, Jeremiah remained firm and faithful to his God-given mission.
      We Christians are also called to participate in the prophetic office of Christ. The problem is that we prefer to please others than tell them what is wrong in their life and action. After all, we are afraid of rejection — so different from Jeremiah the “weeping prophet.” Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
 
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you take your prophetic task seriously and tell the truth whenever you see evil around you?
 
Lord, give me the courage to be more prophetic in my dealings with others and the strength to face the consequences. Amen.

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