The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.”
For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever. Here you are, trusting in deceptive words to no avail.
Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “We are safe!” —only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your sight? You know, I too am watching, says the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The Lord’s words, spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, ring out to us today as much as they did when they were first uttered. Jeremiah proclaims both a promise and a warning. The warning is that God sees our behavior, the way we treat “the alien, the orphan, and the widow,” and knows both our actions and our thoughts. The promise is that God will dwell with us.
“‘You know, I too am watching,’ says the Lord.” God is watching the way that we respond to those in our society who are on the margins. God is watching how we respond to obvious injustices that we see. How will you respond?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Break My Heart
I know you are out there,
waiting to break my heart open
through service to your people.
Show me how to find you in them,
to open my heart and hands to feel and to touch,
to laugh and to cry with your chosen ones, the poor,
who carry with them direct pathways to your loving heart.
Give me a taste for service
so that I too might desire more
—Author unknown, published on jesuitresource.orgPlease share the Good Word with your friends!