Daily Readings Reflection for 3/24/11

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Scripture: Lectionary # 234. Jeremiah 17:5-10. Psalm 1:1-2.3.4.6. Luke
16:19-31

Today’s Readings

Two of our readings are quite similar in the use of a tree bearing fruit
near running waters. Jeremiah may be the author of both the first reading
and the Psalm that introduces the whole Book of Psalms. In Jeremiah we have
the following words of the Prophet: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the
Lord, whose hope is in the Lord.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches is roots to the
stream: it fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the
year of the drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. The Psalm
reads: Happy the man…But delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on
his law day and night. He is like a tree planted near running water, That
yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade..

Psalm 1 is full of wisdom and the image of the tree with its roots is a
good introduction for the whole of the Psalms. When compared with what
Jeremiah says, we see a similar use of images to bring about the trust in
the Lord. We may surmise that Jeremiah who was so skilled as a prophet and
writer (maybe with the help of his secretary Baruch) that Psalm 1 was also
composed by him. Such skills were reserved to the educated who dwelt near
the Temple. Jeremiah is thus helping us to stay confident even though we
suffer, get ill, experience opposition, we are able to sink our roots of
faith deep into the life-giving source of the waters that run by. Jeremiah
shares contrasts of a blessed person and one who is cursed; the psalm does
the same with the many who is prosperous and happy while the unrighteous
person is like chaff driven by the wind. One who trusts only in himself is
contrasted with one who trusts in God. Jeremiah goes on to tell us that
the Lord probes the heart and mind and rewards each one according to their
deservings.

Jesus teaches us through contrasting the life of a poor man named Lazarus
(an ‘Anawim) and the rich man named Dives (rich one in Latin). God rewards
the poor man while the rich one who ignored him is now separated from God
and Abraham by a great abyss. We discover from both lessons of the prophet
and the psalm and the Gospel that “Blessed are they who trust in the Lord.”
Amen.

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