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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reflection 2020-07-22 Thursday 16th Week in Ordinary Time – St Bridget of Sweden

Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13; Psalm 36; Matthew 13:10-17
In the First Reading, Jeremiah rebuked his people, because they have strayed far from God. They were faithful, following the Lord through the wilderness. Because of their faith, Israel was holy to the Lord. God protected her and brought her to a bountiful land. But when she settled down, she forgot the Lord. The priests did not teach people to look for the Lord. The leaders did not know the Lord. The first reading ends with Jeremiah saying the people have committed two evils:
  1. They have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water. They have rejected God who describes himself as the source of living water. The Psalm today says: You are the source of life, O Lord.
  2. Dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water. Instead, they wanted to do things on their own. They dug a cistern which does not hold water. They rejected the living water and instead, wanted stale water from cisterns they dug, that cannot satisfy.
This is what happens when we reject God. We reject life and choose what does not satisfy. Jeremiah in fact, tells us how we can come back to God: by searching for him. When we choose to do things on our own and reject the life of God, we become what Jesus describes: you will indeed listen but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn – and I would heal them. When we reject God, our hearts harden, so even when we hear, we will not understand. We will not see even when we look. Yet Jesus says when we turn he will heal. This healing is reconciliation with God. When we return to him, he will give his life to us.
Are you searching for something in life? Have you tried everything and it seems like you are chasing the wind? There is only one thing to do: turn to Jesus and he will heal you. How sure are we that Jesus will do this? He suffered and died for you. We celebrate St Bridget of Sweden today. She was a mystic and had visions of Jesus. In one of her visions, she saw Jesus on the cross and she asked who did this to him. Jesus answered: those who despise me and spurn my love for them. Jesus died for those who hate him, so they can have eternal life. This shows the extent Jesus will do, so we can have life.
Lord Jesus, you said those who believe in you will have streams of living water flow from within them. I have done all I can and like broken cisterns, they give me relief temporarily and then it is gone. I want the life you have promised me, and I know you will give it to me because you have died for me. I come to you Lord, in my brokeness, in my despair. I am overwhelmed. Yet Lord, you call those who are weary to come to you and you will give them rest. Here I am Lord, I turn to you. Heal me. St Bridget, show me the Crucified Jesus so I can know to what extent he loves me. Let me also know he is with me in the midst of my suffering. And it is through my suffering that I unite myself to his.

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