instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, June 21, 2020

To You I have entrusted my cause

Today's first reading from Jeremiah includes this plea:

O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.

That might seem inconsistent with the idea of taking up your cross and following the Lamb of God without resisting your enemies.

What I heard, though, is not about the suffering of Jeremiah's enemies, it's about the justice of God. Jeremiah doesn't know when his persecutors "will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion," but he knows it will certainly happen. He doesn't want to witness it for his personal triumph over all those who were his friends -- well, maybe a little, but the real point is, for Jeremiah to witness it means he's still alive when it happens, which means it happens relatively soon. When you're praying to a God for Whom a thousand years are like yesterday, no more than a watch in the night, it doesn't hurt to ask that He not wait a thousand years to effect His justice in the world.

Moreover, Jeremiah has entrusted his cause to the LORD Who tests the just. He's sure he's aced the test, but it's not official until the test results are posted. When the wicked lose their power, the poor will not only be rescued, they can be certain that they themselves are just before the LORD if they follow Jeremiah's example.