Year C: 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Jeremiah 17: 5-8
The words of Jeremiah in today’s First Reading echo very clearly Jesus’ words in the Gospel: those who put their trust in earthly things will find them wanting - those who place their trust in God will prosper.
The imagery Jeremiah uses is very stark and powerful. The one who looks to the things of the earth becomes “like dry scrub”. By contrast, the one who trusts in God is like the tree planted close to water - which remains fruitful whatever comes.
These are useful images to apply to ourselves - and when taken to heart and lived out, can be a powerful witness to what living in faith is about.
Most of us will have experienced times of “dryness” - when we feel drained and life seems barren. We may even have fallen prey to the temptation to build our happiness on material things and a crisis - or simply time - has forced us to realise how unsatisfying they are in the long term.
On the other hand, we may have gone through trials and suffering but found reserves of strength which have sustained us far beyond anything we thought we could endure.
We live in a world in which, increasingly, people are placing their trust in material things - and, increasingly, we meet people who are yearning for something real and satisfying. They may have associated religion with sentimentality and seen it as old-fashioned and dismissed it as a source of enduring joy and encouragement.
Our conviction in the face of our own difficulties can open their eyes to what faith really is - placing our trust in something - or rather Someone - infinitely greater than ourselves. By living through our “droughts” - by stretching our roots deeper into the love and life of God - and “staying green” and alive - we witness to the steadfast love of God which underpins our faith.
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