Daily Archives: August 18, 2013

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

18 August 2013

Reflecting on Jeremiah 38: 4-6, 8-10

Marc Chagall, Jeremiah in the Pit, 1957

I used to listen to the radio all day, every day, when I was a teenager.  It was so easy then. The dial never moved, and we could listen to the great music of the sixties late into the night.  Thanks to all the great advances in technology I haven’t been able to figure out how to get a station on my car radio in decades.  I keep pushing buttons, but all I get is that infuriating static.

The prophets, on the other hand, have figured out the radio frequencies so brilliantly that they can actually find God’s voice on the dial, and they know just where to place themselves so that the signal is loud and clear.  Jeremiah, way back in the sixth century B.C., was getting God’s voice in stereo, and the message was unmistakeable:  tell the king of Jerusalem to surrender to the Babylonians, for it is God’s will.

What an inconvenient truth this was. They hated him for it, and beat him, threw him in prison, and tossed him down into a muddy cistern to die of starvation at the peak of the famine brought about by the Babylonian siege of the city that he had prophesied for so long.  He’d been right, of course.  Those who speak for God always are.

We all want to be on the right side of history.  We’d love to be the one about whom people say, “If only we had listened.”  Or maybe we’re the ones who need to listen.  I have a feeling that the words of the prophets are starting to come in loud and clear.  Turn your radio on.

Have you ever suffered persecution for telling the truth?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).