(Part 188)


July 21, 2016

Today’s reading:  Jeremiah 2:1-13

The situation of Israel in Jeremiah’s time is the same situation of the Christian nations of the world today–the Philippines, the USA, Canada, Europe, etc. It is about their infidelity to God and to their call. And so there is great urgency in calling the nations back to God. It starts by speaking of their sorry situation. “Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear!” (v.2a).

It was not too long ago when Christian nations were devout and fervent in their faith. “I remember the devotion of your youth” (v.2b). “Israel was dedicated to the Lord” (v.3a). But they have turned away from God. God of course is not to blame. “What fault did your ancestors find in me that they withdrew from me” (v.5a). In fact, like the western nations, nations founded on God, they found their prosperity in their Judeo-Christian heritage. “I brought you into the garden land to eat its fine fruits” (v.7a). But what have these Christian nations done through the last decades? “But you entered and defiled my land, you turned my heritage into an abomination.” (v.7b). These lands of milk and honey have been turned into lands that have embraced divorce, abortion and same-sex relationships.

Even the priests have been guilty. “The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’” (v.8a). Many priests in the western world engaged in same-sex relationships and abuse of minors. Many bishops turned to political correctness and no longer talked about sin. Many theologians adopted heretical positions on the faith. “The experts in the law did not know me” (v.8b). Many lay leaders and workers accepted the culture of death, and many teachers taught sexual immorality to young people. “The shepherds rebelled against me.” (v.8c). Those in authority adopted secular humanist mindset and values, and preached the idols of materialism, consumerism and hedonism. “The prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after useless idols.” (v.8d).

Such is the state of our Church today. Many have turned away from God and turned to embrace worldly pleasures that are abominations. “Does any other nation change its gods?–even though they are not gods at all! But my people have changed their glory for useless things.” (v.11). What a shameful and unfortunate turn of events. “Be horrified at this, heavens; shudder, be appalled” (v.12).

Many in the Church have today turned to evil. They have turned away from God, who is the source of abundant life itself. And they have turned to the things of the world, which cannot give life at all. “Two evils my people have done; they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (v.13).

What is the future for such a people? None! This is why it is urgent to do a massive work of bringing people back to God and back to the Church. Such is the work of the New Evangelization.

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