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Give heed to me, O Lord.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Wednesday 2 of Lent

Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20; Psalm 30; Matthew 20:17-28

'Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to my plea' (Jeremiah 18:19).

'O Lord my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me' (Psalm 30:2).

Today the first reading is taken from the prophet Jeremiah and the psalm is Psalm 30. In the case of Jeremiah, he is crying out to God against his adversaries. Jeremiah continues '... deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword ... deal with them ...' (Jeremiah 18:21,23). In the case of the psalm, it is David singing to the Lord at the dedication of the temple, where he recounts how he has been delivered from his adversaries. He, David, says 'I will extol thee, O Lord, for thou hast drawn me up, and hast not let my foes rejoice over me ... I cried to thee for help' (Ps 30:1-2).

What is amazing is the boldness with which the prayers are made. In the case of Jeremiah, he not only speaks to God with boldness, but he makes some serious demands of God, which might seem rather shocking to us. Jeremiah says: '... may their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be slain by the sword in battle' (Jeremiah 30:21). Now, indeed, David's request of God, at least in this psalm, seems less 'bloody', but this does not take away from the point I am getting at. Both Jeremiah and David spoke to God. All this took place before Christ. When the Christ did come, his followers asked Him, how are we to pray. Jesus said, when you pray say: 'Father ...'

The questions, then, are these, when we pray do we always call to mind to whom we are praying? So as to pray more fully? Or have we yet to grasp what Christ has done in reconciling us to our Father?


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