Today’s readings are not easy ones. Sometimes God’s word is serious. Prophet Jeremiah has the tone and force of a lamentation prayer. Persecutors are all around the just person, and his only strength is the Lord himself. The Lord is the only strength: we can see that God’s victory will have the last word. In Saint Paul’s letter, we are honestly confronted with the full weight of sin. What it caused to the whole of the human race. However, here too we can see the victory of very sin. Christ’s redeeeming us from sin, the gift considerably outweighed the fall. Our Gospel also starts with the most serious challenge. In a world, which is more open to darkness than to God’s light, in world which refuses to believe - we are called to fearlessApostles! The Lord is our inexhaustible strength. Christ’s victory always has the power to transfrom what is fallen in us! God never forgets our witness to him!
We can sum up this double movement of the pendule in this way: God turns our brokenness into a joyful life with Him. So, actually, these three ‘serious readings’, with their movement from ‘wound’ to ‘joy’, they sum up what happens in our eucharistic celebration. Jesus turns our sadness, our low state, our lack of grace into Life. What is temporary, what is fragmented, what is unfinished, what is marked by sin, is made part of our eternal life. That’s why, our three readings, with the victory that is witnessed in them makes us recognise why the Eucharist is our major ‘aith-anchor’ (Ronald Rolheiser).
Our three readings, with their focus on the fulfilment of our hope invite us to anchor our faith in God’s promises. We need to be living and breathing Eucharist at all time. Not just when things go well in our life, or when we are in church, but when we are really low.
Our readings - just think of the turning point between from being lost and lifted up - invite us to be grateful. We have to have the attitude of gratitude for all the ‘big and small rescues’.
And there is a third message of our readings. Our brokenness they describe is not something to suppress or forget. ‘Being wounded by others, being wounded by sin, persecution’ are part of life, are part of us. Also, when we wound others, when we persecute and discriminate others should be also recognised. That’s why we are redeemed: we are transformed from who we were into God’s victory; into love’s victory, love’s witness.
This latter point is a practical teaching. ‘How do we break the bread, how we are broeken?’ How do we live the ‘Eucharist within (!) our daily lives? When Jesus links the idea of breaking to the Eucharist, the rendering and breaking down that he is talking about have to do with narcissism, individualism, pride, self-serving ambition, and all the other things that prevent us from letting go of those things insude us that prevent us from givign ourselves to others… Eucharist is meant not just to celebrate our joys and gratitude, but also to break us open, to make us groan in anguish, to lay bare our mistrust, to lessen our jealosies and break down the distances that separate us. What the Eucharist asks of us is vulnerability, humilyt, contrition, and forgiveness. Bitterness, hatred, and suspicion are meant to disappear at a Eucharist.’ (Ronald Rolheiser)
So, let us join our Lord at his table with this transparency. Let us recognise, now, in us, the threefold message of our readings. Let us join the ‘pendule movement of love in our Eucharist’. That is, The Lord is our inexhaustible strength. Christ’s victory always has the power to transfrom what is fallen in us! God never forgets our witness to him!
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..