Readings: Jer 20:10-13; John 10:31-42
Scripture: I hear the whisperings of many . . . But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion . . . ” (Jer 20:10-11)
Reflection: Whispers can be withering to the spirit, whether you’re a kid on a playground or a grown-up in an office. The sight of someone speaking in hushed tones behind the shield of a raised hand can undo even the most put-together person, even a prophet. We see in today’s first reading that Jeremiah is no stranger to the all-too-human insecurities that surface when the whispering begins and, in his case, builds to a nearsilent scream of insults and threats. The fear is palpable as he recounts their words. And then, within a few lines, Jeremiah’s resolve returns and the doubts vanish. He has God on his side. He has no reason to fear. He has a champion. Each one of us has the same champion, although we tend to forget that. We allow ourselves to stay in that place of fear, letting the whispers echo and strengthen, feeding them with our own insecurities until they grow into something we don’t know how to face. Jeremiah is a great one to remind us that difficult times do not have to end badly. In fact, difficult times are par for the course, and God, our champion, waits to take up our cause if we’ll let him. We can’t stop the whispers. All we can control is our reaction to them. If we’re willing to look to God and trust what God has in store for us, the rest will fall into place. We will find a peace that cannot be shaken by murmurs or threats.
Meditation: Pay attention today, this week, to the ways you feel injured by or at risk from people around you: harsh words, a whisper, maybe just a look. It’s okay to feel that way. After all, even Jeremiah the prophet wasn’t immune to the pain such things can cause. But don’t stay in that place. Push through to the other side, where God is waiting to be your champion. You do not have to react to the whispers. You do not have to invest any energy in someone else’s story. Stick with what you can control: your own actions grounded in your relationship with God.
Prayer: All-powerful God, I know that you are always at my side, no matter how difficult my struggles, no matter how alone I may feel. I trust in you, and I thank you for your unwavering love for me.
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