Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

March 18, 2016 / By: Michelle Thom

Jeremiah 20:10-13 and John 10:31-42

In Jeremiah 20:10-13, the Prophet Jeremiah is under attack by his people for his constant predictions of gloom and doom.  His attackers mock him as they shout, “Terror on every side!  Let us denounce him!” in much the same way that Jeremiah seems to constantly denounce the behavior of others.

But his words convey that Jeremiah has confidence in God and that his attackers will not prevail. “The Lord is at my side… my opponents will stumble, mastered, confounded by their failure…  Praise Yahweh, for he has delivered the soul of one in need.”  This is the second time I have been assigned a Jeremiah reading.  I have come to appreciate him for all of his hand-wringing and his way with words, especially as they pertain to truth and justice.

My second passage, John 10:31-42, has Jesus being stoned by his opponents.  In response, he asks of them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father.  For which of these do you stone me?”  They respond, “We are not stoning you for any good work, but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”  Jesus answers, “Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?  Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.  But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

Another recent reflection mentioned how difficult it can be to read the passages that occur so close to Easter.  The pain and suffering endured by Jesus is difficult to comprehend.  Despite cruelty and suffering, it seems to me that both Jeremiah and Jesus understand that both truth and justice will ultimately prevail.   It is a belief that we ought to remember ourselves – and hold on to.

Michelle Thom
Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer