Meditation for Thursday of the 2nd Week of Lent
(Jer 17:5-10; Lk 16:19-31)
The prophet Jeremiah announced, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” This message refers both to the one who trusts in others as well as the one who trusts in himself, his capabilities, talents, etc. Listen to the imagery the prophet used to describe the man who trusts in man: “He is like a shrub in the desert…He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
Then Jeremiah talks about the man whose trust is in the Lord. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Interestingly, we do not know where a man puts his trust until adversity comes. Some people have lost faith in God over the same trial that strengthened the faith of others! The heart of man is deceitful and desperately corrupt. People can pretend to trust in God, but at the slightest twist, their words and actions would not speak of the glory of God.
“I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Often, it is even the blessings of God and rich rewards of life that expose the secret trust of a man’s heart. Who would have taught that a rich man, who dressed in purple and fine linen, feasted sumptuously every day, would neglect the poor Lazarus at his gate? In the eyes of men, the rich man could hide his crime, justify himself, and be excused. But God found him out at last! His wealth exposed his wickedness, insensitivity to others, and lack of trust in God. The rich man’s cries and regrets from hell could not remedy his condition. But Lazarus, who in his poverty trusted in God, was found justified before God. Lazarus was rewarded, not because he was poor, but because he trusted in the Lord, and endured ‘persecution’ from the rich man, who denied him what was destined for him as his neighbor.
Let us remain steadfast and trust in the Lord; God has the final say! We accept the good things of life from His hands; we endure the adversities with hope in God, who is the source of life and can save us. Let us trust and obey God’s commandments, we shall bear fruit in season and out of season like the tree by the waterside. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Thursday, March 4th, 2021.