Don’t miss the way the Prophet Jeremiah talks to God in our first reading today and the way Peter the Apostle in our gospel gets the message of Jesus all wrong. They’re examples of what faith in God is really like. Without people like them, we might think faith is a ticket to a wonderful life and endless sweet dreams.
Jeremiah is fed up with God:
“You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.”
The lonely prophet lived in hard times when Babylonian armies were sacking Jerusalem and everyone was calling him a deceiver because of a message they didn’t want to hear– God was going to let his holy city be completely destroyed and his people led away in chains.
The message sours the prophet’s mouth and breaks his heart. He feels like a fool. Yet listen to him:
“I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.”
He’s faithful to God no matter what.
Peter, a believer, gets the message of Jesus wrong. He can’t accept the prediction of the Cross, but wants success instead.
Yet God works with this apostle whose faith is so imperfect and prizes this prophet whose faith is so tried. Since our faith may be like theirs, let’s hope God will work with us. “We believe; help our unbelief.”