Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Jeremiah 7, 23-28

My one command to them was this: Listen to my voice, then I will be your God and you shall be my people. In everything, follow the way that I mark out for you, and you shall prosper.

But they did not listen, they did not pay attention; they followed their own devices, their own stubborn and wicked inclinations, and got worse rather than better.

From the day your ancestors left Egypt until today, I have sent you all my servants the prophets, persistently sending them day after day.

But they have not listened to me, have not paid attention; they have deliberately resisted, behaving worse than their ancestors.

So you will tell them all this, but they will not listen to you; you will call them, but they will not answer you."

Then you are to say to them, "This is the nation that will neither listen to the voice of Yahweh its God nor take correction. Sincerity is no more, it has vanished from their mouths.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Yesterday we heard from the book of Deuteronomy Moses' invitation to the people of Israel to listen to the Lord. It is from listening, indeed, that not only wisdom but salvation for Israel are derived. With today's passage, the prophet takes almost literally the exhortation of Moses: "Obey my voice!" (v. 23). Unfortunately, as often happened to the people of Israel and happens to us, it is easy to not listen. This happens when we put our confidence in our own beliefs, habits, and religious traditions; when we seek our own advantage, tranquillity, and well being. In these moments one does not rely on the Lord, who, however, does not cease to send his prophets to shake the deafness of the ears and the hardness of the hearts of the Israelites: "I have persistently sent all my servants the prophets to them, day after day; yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks. They did worse than their ancestors " (vv.25-26). But the Lord never tires, and continues to send his messengers. And here is the turn of Jeremiah. The Lord knows it will be hard for them to listen: "So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you"(v. 27). God notes our weakness, our stubbornness. But he does not resign. He continues to have the ambition to change our hearts, to open our minds, to make us share in his thoughts and his own work. And to change us, he also uses hardness. So he asks Jeremiah to speak to the people clearly without hiding anything, "This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips "(v. 28). The insistence of the Lord to send the prophets is similar to the parable of the sower who never ceases to go out and sow everywhere in the hope that the seed not only take root but bear abundant fruit. This passage concerns us closely. Let us be careful to listen to the voice of the Lord, to keep it in our hearts and put it into practice. It is in this way that the Lord has chosen to establish his kingdom.