Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Both of our readings for today concern God’s judgment. In Jeremiah’s prophecy, God holds before us a curse and a blessing. The man who trusts in men seeks his strength in flesh, turning away from the Lord in his heart. His sinful behavior is punishment already, as Paul suggests in Romans 1:28. The man who trusts in the Lord, however, hopes in the Lord and lives from the source of his hope, even in the face of great adversity. Trusting in the Lord is far more reasonable than trusting in human beings, since, “More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?”
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy would be a good time for us to spend a bit more time meditating on the story of Lazarus and the rich man. The mercy that the Church offers us is, first of all, God’s mercy, but this mercy is intimately connected with the mercy that we show others. The rich man is indeed #blessed, as are so many of us, but one who is “blessed” with riches has an obligation to bless with them. God created all things in love, and the proper meaning of each thing can only be found in love. Refusing to use our goods to love the neighbor who is in need at one’s doorstep, especially when one readily has the means to do so, is a perversion of the blessing that God gives us, effectively turning it into a curse. God does not wish to condemn anyone: it is we who, by misusing God’s gifts for ends other than the love for which they were created, condemn ourselves to live a life filled with something other than love.
February 25th, 2016