Thursday of Week 2 of Lent

Jeremiah 17.5-10; Psalm 1; Luke 16.19-31

‘The arm of flesh will fail you; ye dare not trust your own’ a once-popular hymn declared in an apt condensation and paraphrase of this reading from the prophet Jeremiah.  

Alongside his scepticism about human achievement, the prophet reminds us that our hearts need to be educated, to be formed.  ‘The heart is more devious than any other thing’ he writes pessimistically.  But the heart (which of course in Hebrew thought is the centre of thinking and decision-making) can be taught, and when it has learnt devotion to the things of God, the heart can bring peace, refreshment and fruitfulness to human life.

The prophet reminds us of the inescapable judgement of God, who will give every person ‘what his conduct and actions deserve’   In the teaching of all the prophets, doing the will of God is not confined to obedience to ritual prescriptions: to love and serve the Lord entails on us a responsibility to attend to the needs of the least and the lost amongst us.

Posted in Daily Reflection.