Saturday, June 27, 12th Week Ordinary Time
(Lamentations 2: 2, 10-14, 18 – 19; Ps.74; Matthew 8: 5 – 17)
The king was captured and blinded and along with the leaders, soldiers, craftsmen were led captive to Babylon in the thousands. The temple, the palace and all the houses of Jerusalem destroyed, the walls surrounding the city torn down so nothing of its splendor remained. In its destruction, only the very poor remained. We can readily imagine their state of desolation, their terrible fears.
The reading from the Book of Lamentations expresses the grief, the desolation, the incomprehensible sadness over the fall of the daughter of Zion. Yet throughout the 5 chapters of this book, belief in God does not waver. No matter how terrible the fate of Judah, faith in God continues – surely shaken but still alive and passionately expressed: “Cry out to the Lord…Pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord…Lift up your hands to him.”
Someone has made this commentary on the Book of Lamentations; “When history has become unendurable, faith still endures.” In this lament there is a passage that stands out, a passage of a most strong belief: “The favors of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is His faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him.” (3:22 ff)
Even in a devastating situation like the fall of Jerusalem, the Lord, the giver of faith, can lead one into deeper faith, into light, into truth – that is, if one is willing to be led.
The power of faith comes from its source, the Lord Himself. Certainly, we believe in the teachings of the Church, the Body of Christ. But, ultimately faith is belief, a surrender of oneself to the Lord and through Him to the Father in the Spirit. Each of us is gifted with a power, a strength, a desire to go deeper, to journey more fully into the very mystery of the Lord whose favors are not exhausted, whose mercies are not spent. So that you, I can say, “My portion is the Lord; therefore I will hope in Him.”