Faith In The Source Is The Source
Thursday, July 21, 2022
by Fr. David M. Knight
View readings for 16th Week of Ordinary Time, Year CII: Jeremiah 2:1-13; Psalm 36:6-11; Matthew 13:10-17
The Responsorial Psalm urges us to keep remembering that all our good comes from God “You are the source of life, O Lord” (Psalm 36).
In Jeremiah 2: 1-13 God speaks to Israel as his bride: “I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, following me into the desert.” In those days, “Sacred to the Lord was Israel,” and “evil would befall” anyone who touched her.
But then, God says, “your ancestors… went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves.” In particular he reproaches those charged with ministry: the “priests,” “those who dealt with the law,” the “shepherds” (or rulers), and “prophets.”
The people’s mistake was double: first, they neglected God’s teaching; then they turned to false teachers:
They have forsaken me, the source of living waters. They have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that hold no water.
We see the same thing happening today: people fail to listen at Mass; they don’t read and pray over Scripture or participate in retreats and adult religious education. Then when they find “no meaning” in the religion they grew up with, they turn to other churches, movements and popular gurus, even to the non-Christian traditions.
We can blame ourselves for not ministering to each other as we should. But the bottom line is plain faith in God’s word: “You are the source of life, O Lord.” Either people believe it and look for life in the Church Jesus gave us, or they dig cisterns for thmselves, “broken cisterns that hold no water.”
In Matthew 13: 10-17 Jesus applies to religion the principle: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
To those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
We all “have” grace and gifts from God. If, however, we don’t acknowledge them, but act instead as if we “had nothing,” then we will lose what little faith, hope and love were ours instead of growing into the fullness of life. Jesus said, “I came that they might have life, and have it to the full!” His religion is not set up for those who just want the minimum. To ministers who are “lukewarm, neither cold nor hot,” Jesus says, “I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”1
Anyone whose sights are set for mediocrity can neither hear God’s words nor communicate them to others, because God’s words are not intelligible to those whose “heart is sluggish.” 2
Initiative: Give God’s life: Be a “priest in the Priest.” Lift up your heart—and everyone else’s—“to the Lord.”
1John 10:10; Revelation 3: 14-22.
2See Psalm 119:32
Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry