Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Today’s readings

Many of us have probably had to deal with a situation when people were working against us, or at least it seemed that way. Maybe they were spreading lies about us, trying to get others to work against us. So I think today we find ourselves in good company. Today’s readings find the prophet Jeremiah, king David and Jesus all in that same boat.

A prophet’s job is never easy; nobody wants to hear what they don’t want to hear. And so it can be difficult to stand up for what’s right. So for Jeremiah, things are getting dangerous: people want him dead. The same is true for Jesus, who is rapidly approaching the cross. David finds that his enemies are pursuing him to the point of death, like the waters of the deep overwhelming a drowning man.

But all of them find their refuge in God. Jeremiah writes, “For he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!” David takes consolation in the fact that “From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” And for Jesus, well, his time had not yet come.

When we are provoked like they were, how do we respond? Is our first thought to take refuge in God, or do we try – usually in vain – to solve the problem on our own? If we don’t turn to God, we will sooner or later find those waves overwhelming us, because there is always a limit to our own power. But if we turn to God, even if things don’t improve on our own timetable, we will always find refuge and safety in our God: there will be strength to get through, and we will never be alone.

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