Saturday 21 November 2015

Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent

We live in a world where we are beginning to see more and more people being divided according to racial lines, ethnic groups, ideologies, economic situation (such as lower income, middle income, upper class), and many other forms of division and fragmentation. Even within our countries, our communities and in some cases, even in our families, we see such division and fragmentation taking place. Why is this happening? Perhaps it is because we are so stubbornly holding on to our ideals, our wants and needs, our identity, our achievements and status. Perhaps our pride and ego has become more and more uncontrollable, due to our neglect in checking them. Or perhaps we have become less loving and receptive to God's voice, as we become more and more immersed in the ways of the world and all the attractions it has to offer. Perhaps some of us have even chosen not to listen, not to pay attention, and follow the dictates of our own hearts, ignoring God's voice completely.

In today's reading, God, through the prophet Jeremiah, reminded the Israelites, that He had been so patient and persistent in sending His servants the prophets to "knock some sense" into them, by trying to help them change their ways, their attitudes, their behaviour, so that they may have life and prosper, but the Israelites did not listen, they did not pay attention; they followed the dictates of their own evil hearts, refused to face God, and turned their backs on God. Even then, we see how God had not given up on them or left them to their doom. Instead, God was still so patient and persistent, even to the extent of sending His only Son, Jesus, to reach out to them, and eventually to die for their sins.

If God is so patiently waiting for the Israelites to change, He is also doing the same for us. We have been given many opportunities to change our ways, and return to His love and care. But sometimes, like the Israelites, we too did not listen, did not pay attention; followed the dictates of their own evil hearts, refused to face God, and turned our backs on God. Let us be reminded that our time on earth is short, and it is up to us to do what is necessary to change and grow closer to God. At the end of the day, whether we end up with God or away from God is up to us.

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