By Sonja Corbitt
“Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” ~ Matthew 20:22
For Christians, there is no line between what is secular and what is spiritual. Everything is spiritual. God uses “all things” for our good (Romans 8:28). Throughout the Scriptures, He uses people and nations to judge and purify one another. He expects us to accurately read the “signs of the times” through such a lens (Matthew 24). So for those – Christian or otherwise – who say faith should be apolitical, Jeremiah the prophet serves as a contradiction.
Jeremiah is a type of the coming Messiah, and we read many of his writings throughout Lent. His prophetic ministry covered a critical time of political and religious upheaval in Jewish history; he was sent to proclaim God’s impending judgment in the destruction and exile of Judah for their idolatry with the nations, unfaithfulness to the covenant, obstinate disobedience to God and His law (Jeremiah Chapters 2-24), and unjust treatment of one another (11:6-7). The religious leaders responded with contempt and presumption: no need to listen or even let him live; they’d always have prophets and priests. The political leaders wanted him dead and persecuted him incessantly. For his part, Jeremiah determined that being cast as a scapegoat by all parties was better than the entire nation continuing in moral blindness.
Read the Signs of the Time
Perhaps we can read the signs of our times through this lens. St. Augustine says in The City of God that the good are punished along with the evil, for a time, for not having condemned their sin. It takes a couple of generations for the chalice of justice to bubble up to the rim. Still, Scripture and Tradition are clear that such suffering is necessary for our purification, personally and nationally. Am I seeking God in this suffering, as Jeremiah and Jesus exhort, or raging at the messengers of judgment and those through whom it comes?
Lord, where have I turned a blind eye to sin, been unfaithful to the Eucharist and the Mass, disobedient to Church teachings, or mistreated other Christians? How are current events in my life, the Church, and the nation meant to help purify me?
Call to Action
Make an act of confession and offer penance for personal sins and those of your ancestors and nation. (Leviticus 26:39-42).
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