A reading from the prophecy of Jeremiah
(Chapter 1:4-5, 17-19)
Jesus once remarked that a prophet is not honored in his own country (Mark 6:4). That was certainly true of Jeremiah. He was treated terribly by his own people and was almost killed. In the passage read in today’s Mass, God is preparing Jeremiah for his “terrible task” and assuring him, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you a prophet to the nations I appointed you…. Stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on my account.”
Jeremiah suffered greatly and was almost crushed. Still, he was faithful to God despite his many fears and depression. Somehow, God’s strength was with him in the most painful and desperate times.
We all have times of fear, depression, and the concern that we are not up to the task before us. It seems to be just too much. At those very times, God will be present to us in numerous ways, if we can listen to his saving message and accept the support that might be near at hand.
“I will sing of your salvation.” This beautiful psalm is an affirmation that God is on our side always, “a stronghold to give me safety. “