Readings: Jeremiah 3:14-17; Matthew 13:18-23
I will appoint you shepherds after my own heart, who will shepherd you wisely and prudently… Jeremiah
But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold… Matthew
Both readings this morning direct our attention to future things. Jeremiah is speaking at a low point–perhaps the lowest–in Judah’s history: not only is the leadership incompetent and enmeshed in self-destructive foreign policy, but it is cloaked in denial. Matthew’s agrarian parable is preached by Jesus in an economically exploited and politically occupied land to a demoralized people.
Both readings offer hope. Not facile wish-fulfillment but hope–which can cost us our laziness and complacency.
It’s all to easy to get stuck in the present and lose sight of what we are called to be by a God who is sovereignly free and merciful. It’s too easy to reduce God to the custodian of the status quo and forget that the Holy One is both unpredictable Mystery and Life-giving Creator.