A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I have done this to you

Today’s first reading (Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22) does not begin with happy news.

It tells us not only that we are incurable but that God is the one who did it to us.

For thus says the LORD:
Incurable is your wound,
grievous your bruise;
There is none to plead your cause,
no remedy for your running sore,
no healing for you.
All your lovers have forgotten you,
they do not seek you.
I struck you as an enemy would strike,
punished you cruelly;
Why cry out over your wound?
your pain is without relief.
Because of your great guilt,
your numerous sins,
I have done this to you.

The people who first heard these words knew that the troubles that afflicted them did not come directly from the hand of God like a bolt of lightning or some otherworldly wonder. Foreign armies had invaded and brought devastation, slavery and exile.

God “did this” not just in the sense of letting it happen, but also in creating and sustaining a universe of justice in which bad deeds are ultimately punished.

As we know, of course, this universe of justice extends beyond the limits of the world we see and know, finding ultimate fulfillment in eternity and the Judgment Seat of God.

(Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me – a sinner.)

But God is also merciful, as this reading goes on to remind us: forgiving us, restoring us, reinvigorating us, and drawing us every closer into the embrace of his love and joy.