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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

But They Did Not Listen (Thought for the Day Part 18)

Today’s reading: Jeremiah 13:1-11

Every Christian has a prophetic role, as by virtue of Baptism, we all share in Christ’s office as priest, prophet and king. Some have a special prophetic role, such as the prophets of the Old Testament, like Isaiah and Jeremiah. Among their tasks was to bring God’s word to His people, and in the case of their infidelity and veering away, to chastise and rebuke them. Oftentimes their words would be harsh. God through Jeremiah called His people wicked, stubborn, good for nothing (v.10). Check out all that the prophets of the Old Testament said to God’s people. Now of course many did not like what they were told by the prophets. Thus they persecuted the prophets.

Like all of you, I too have a prophetic role. But as the overall leader, entrusted with the charism and tasked with the good of the community’s life and mission, I need to look at this role more seriously. And so I would also have occasion to correct, chastise and rebuke. If I do not, then I am the one remiss. Unfortunately, some of you might be offended. You might prefer that I tone down my language. You might not like what I say, for example, about those in the country club just drinking pina coladas. But that is pretty tame! Read what Jeremiah said about the loincloth, and how God’s people were like the loincloth, good for nothing.

When I as your leader make a correction, or even a harsh word that I believe is needed, what should be your posture? You listen. You humble yourself, and seriously consider what I am saying. You do not harden your heart such that you become hard of hearing. If you hear something you consider harsh, you have two options. If it is not for you, then don’t be bothered by it. But if you are bothered by it, then perhaps it really is for you.

God has a great plan for our community, in accordance with the call to the New Evangelization. God has a wonderful destiny for us. It is “to be my people, my fame, my praise, my glory.” (v.11b). When prophets speak, including your leader, do not thwart God’s plan by your hardness of heart and hardness of hearing. Let not our God say, “But they did not listen.” (v.11c).


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