March 16, 2017 – Thursday of the Second Week of Lent
Blessed are they who hope in the Lord!
Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (17:5-10)
Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.
Reflect: Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. We have such beautiful imagery in this passage from Jeremiah. The person who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted near waters, with roots that seek the stream; it stays green even in a time of drought; it still bears fruit. In contrast, the person who puts trust in human beings is like a barren bush in the desert; it stands in a lava waste, in a poisoned ground. Clearly, the prophet is challenging us to be nourished by God so that we can be alive to do good and to find hope and fulfillment even when we face tough times. The human heart, however, often wants to solve problems on our own. We believe that we can be a self-sufficient plant that survives and flourishes on our own devices or on some clever idea propped up by the world around us. During this time of Lent, we have the opportunity to reassess where we place our trust and in whom we have hope. May we find nourishment and sustainability in Jesus; in his Word and in his Body and Blood. May we plant our roots deeply in him.
Questions: In whom do I place my trust? Do I believe that Jesus is my sustenance or do I look to be strengthened and fulfilled in other ways? Why?
Pray: Loving God, give me the grace to seek you as the true and only Living Water. May I be planted in you so that all that I do, think and say flows from you. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.
Test me, O God, and know my thoughts.
See that my path is not wicked and lead me in the way of everlasting life!
ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)
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