Cleansing Fire

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Through Your Sufferings You Find Christ

November 13th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of St. Thomas the Apostle as they prepare to “not close” their parish. I say “to ‘not close'” because the parish is technically still a consecrated Catholic church . . . just without Masses, a priest, parishioners, collections, confessions, or anything else. I call foul. The church is being closed, even if not in a legal, canonical sense. Perhaps this is the route being taken as part of some backroom plot hatched at the hands of our diocesan officials, or perhaps it’s a way of reaching out to the St. Thomas parishioners – we need to keep our minds open and not leap to conclusions, no matter how likely they may be . . .

This being said, I would like to give to you the following chapter from the Book of Jermiah for your lectio divina for this weekend:

1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD.

5 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will raise up for David[a] a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.

6 In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The LORD Our Righteous Savior.

7 “So then, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”

Lying Prophets

9 Concerning the prophets:

My heart is broken within me;
all my bones tremble.

I am like a drunken man,
like a strong man overcome by wine,
because of the LORD
and his holy words.
10 The land is full of adulterers;
because of the curse[b] the land lies parched
and the pastures in the wilderness are withered.
The prophets follow an evil course
and use their power unjustly.

11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;
even in my temple I find their wickedness,”
declares the LORD.

12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;
they will be banished to darkness
and there they will fall.
I will bring disaster on them
in the year they are punished,”
declares the LORD.

13 “Among the prophets of Samaria
I saw this repulsive thing:
They prophesied by Baal
and led my people Israel astray.
14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen something horrible:
They commit adultery and live a lie.
They strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.

They are all like Sodom to me;
the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”

15 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says concerning the prophets:

“I will make them eat bitter food
and drink poisoned water,
because from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”

16 This is what the LORD Almighty says:

“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
they fill you with false hopes.

They speak visions from their own minds,
not from the mouth of the LORD.
17 They keep saying to those who despise me,
‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’
And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts
they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’
18 But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD
to see or to hear his word?
Who has listened and heard his word?
19 See, the storm of the LORD
will burst out in wrath,
a whirlwind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.
20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back
until he fully accomplishes
the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
you will understand it clearly.
21 I did not send these prophets,
yet they have run with their message;
I did not speak to them,
yet they have prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my council,
they would have proclaimed my words to my people
and would have turned them from their evil ways
and from their evil deeds.

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One Response to “Through Your Sufferings You Find Christ”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    Thanks Gen! Surely, only goodness and kindness will follow us all the days of our lives…..Psalm 23

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