THURSDAY, SECOND WEEK OF LENT
Reading 1: Jer 17:5-10 Jeremiah presents the contrast between the person who trusts in himself rather than in God and the one who places his trust in the Lord.
Gospel: Lk 16:19-31 We hear the story of the rich man who is punished in hell on account of his indifference to the beggar lying at his gate.
GOD HAS HELPED
There comes a time in life when we are forced to pause, and reassess our priorities. At such times, we realise that we are but dependent beings in need of help. We need to trust somebody or something other than ourselves. Our choice determines our destiny. Some people place their trust in their influential friends thinking that they will provide them the security that their heart craves for. In today’s first reading, Jeremiah condemns such people because no human being can ever satisfy the yearnings of the heart. There are others who trust in material things, like fame and fortune. They resemble the rich man in today’s Gospel, whose wealth blinded him to the reality of life and hardened his heart. We know the tragic consequences he reaped in the life after. Still worse are the people who trust in themselves, thinking that their talents, strengths and abilities are all that they need. The saying ‘pride comes before a fall’ was born because of them.
But there are those who, with a humble heart, place their trust in God alone, and he never fails to help these, who make him their refuge and strength. In the eyes of the world, they may appear to be utter failures, but they are not disturbed. Suffer they will, but they will possess in their hearts a peace that the world cannot give. Lazarus is an example of such a person. He was rewarded for his disposition with life eternal. The word Lazarus means ‘God has helped’, for God really helps those who place their hope solely on him as Jeremiah explains.
The Bible repeatedly reminds us of the futility of depending on anyone or anything other than God. Only he can fill the emptiness within and without, for he can provide us with more than we can ever ask or imagine. Therefore, choose wisely where you want to deposit your trust. You will either rue your choice in eternity like the rich man, or be comforted in heaven forever like Lazarus.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 1:1-4, 6 Blessed the man who has placed his trust in the Lord.
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