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Saint Bridget, Religious
To whomever I send you, you shall go. (Jeremiah 1:7)
The prophet Jeremiah was sent to the people of Jerusalem during a time of sweeping change. As a boy, he saw his country flourish under the sunset of the Davidic dynasty. It was around this time that Jeremiah answered God’s call—a call recounted in today’s first reading. But as Jeremiah grew older, the seasons changed. Autumn’s pleasure gave way to winter’s bitterness when the Babylonian empire overran Jerusalem and sent many of the people into exile.
Through all this upheaval, Jeremiah faithfully answered his call to speak on God’s behalf. He reminded the people of their covenant with God. He shed light on their sins, but also illuminated the faithfulness of the Lord. He predicted their imminent exile, but he prophesied hope, too, saying that after seventy years, the people would return home to enjoy a springtime of divine favor. Jeremiah revealed that a new covenant—a deeper revelation of God’s love—was on the horizon. All of these messages helped usher the people through a pivotal time in their history.
How did Jeremiah accomplish all of this? He might say, “I just answered the call. God did the rest! He gave me the words to speak, the courage to speak them, and the protection I needed from my enemies.”
God has a calling for you, too! As he sent Jeremiah to the people of Jerusalem, he wants to send you to your own “people” today. That could mean your family members or co-workers. It could be a fellow parishioner or a stranger on the bus. He is asking you not just to speak a message of love but to demonstrate this love with just as much humility and conviction. So show people Jesus through your smile, your encouraging voice, and your careful service. In so doing, you will help usher people into their own deeper experience of the gospel, God’s covenant of love.
So imitate Jeremiah. Prayerfully seek out God’s call, and answer it. Then let him do the rest! Trust that he will give you the words to say, the courage to say them, and protection from the enemy.
“Lord Jesus, I humbly accept your call on my life.”
Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17; Matthew 13:1-9
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