FRIDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
Jer 20: 10-13; Ps 18: 2-7; Jn 10: 31-42
GOD NEVER ABANDONS US!
As Lent draws to a close, we will be reflecting on all the events of Jesus’ life leading up to his passion. The Father sent him to reveal that God’s nature is love and that the Father is committed to snatching us from the jaws of death. Such magnanimity, such generosity, is only possible by a God whose name is love.
In today’s readings, we see Jeremiah and Jesus being “denounced” and their response to the circumstances. In the case of Jeremiah, we see how his own friends stand against him and plot harm. We hear two statements made by him; firstly, that the Lord is with him, like a mighty champion. Secondly, his persecutors will stumble; they will not triumph. In their failure, they will be put to utter shame and confusion. This God who is love stands by the side of the one who reveres him. Jeremiah further tells us that the Lord of hosts tests the righteous and sees their heart and mind.
Anyone with faith will be able to acknowledge God’s presence with us. We know he will not abandon us, but sometimes he allows us to feel abandoned. If one feels abandoned by God, all the studies we can do will confirm that what we feel is normal, but it cannot take the feeling away. Think of someone like St Teresa of Kolkata who experienced this for fifty years. Everything she did for the Lord was outstanding, yet she did not feel his presence and, in reality, felt abandoned by him for years. This trial lifted only in the last weeks before her death.
St Teresa of Avila explains in her writings how she struggled for eighteen long years in prayer. Perseverance and faithfulness helped her in overcoming doubts and difficulties. Jesus too, in his circumstances, stood tall in courageous fidelity to his Heavenly Father. Let us take time today to ask for the grace of perseverance and fidelity.
Response: In my anguish I called to the Lord, and he heard me.
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