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The Weeping Prophet (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Posted : Sep-02-2023

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Jeremiah is sometimes known as “The Weeping Prophet.” This title comes from all the laments that occur throughout the book due to the lawlessness of Judah and how he is constantly being persecuted by the establishment for preaching the truth, and constantly contradicted by false prophets. At one point, he came close to death when he was thrown into a dry cistern, until he was rescued by an Ethiopian eunuch (Jeremiah 38).

In our reading, Jeremiah appears to show hesitancy in continuing the ministry that God calls him to do. He accuses God of deception, since he believed that God would vindicate him, yet that vindication did not seem to be forthcoming at the time. Of course, God did not deceive him, and he was ultimately vindicated at the end, but sometimes it is hard to see that in the midst of suffering.

The reason why this outburst is recorded for us is to show that God understands our weaknesses and how we may sometimes even lash out at Him when things do not seem to be going right, yet He still loves us and will continue to fight for us. We must be willing on our part to trust Him, even when our external circumstances make it difficult to do so.

This lament is also a great comparison to the words of Jesus, as found in today’s Gospel (Matthew 16:20-27). Jesus knows that He too must suffer for the cause of righteousness. He knows that this suffering is necessary to bring about the salvation of souls. Yet He goes to it willingly, even going so far as to rebuke St. Peter for wishing it not to be so. This is to show that while God understands our weakness, it is still far more righteous to bear suffering patiently without complaint, knowing that those who are on the side of righteousness will have the final victory.

J. Luis Dizon