Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Take the Cup: Jeremiah 25 with poem by Abu-al-'Ala'al-Ma'arri, Bill of Sale

Daily Readings
Sirach 27 II Kings 23:31-24:17 Jeremiah 25 Jeremiah 46

Daily Text: Jeremiah 25

Take the Cup
Jeremiah 25 is a prophecy given 23 years into Jeremiah’s career, about half-way. He has been warning Judah and the nations for over two decades and on this day the ax falls. Jehoiakim may cut up his words and throw them into the fire (cf. ch. 36) but the words of the LORD are not so easily destroyed. Once given they bring about the completion of their own ends. So in 605 B.C. Egypt’s Pharoah Neco is defeated at Carchemish, not long after Josiah tries to stop him at that same location on the Euphrates River. Josiah cannot stop Neco, in fact, Neco becomes the de facto ruler of Judah even though he didn’t seek it, but Nebuchadnezzer does defeat Egypt’s prince. And it is Nebuchadnezzer that visits God’s wrath on Judah, and on much of the rest of the world in due time. It is in 605 B.C. that the 70 year Hebrew Exile begins, not with this battle, but very soon thereafter.

The LORD instructs Jeremiah to take the cup of the wine of the wrath of God and force the nations to drink it. If they refuse, ask them how they think they will avoid it since even the city that carries God’s Name is being forced to drink the same cup. The nations indicated surround Judah.

Bill of Sale
Abu-al-‘Alā’al-Ma’arri

Translated from the Arabic by George Wightman and abdullah al-Udhari

God help us, we have sold our souls, all that was best,
To an enterprise in the hands of the Receiver.
We’ve no dividends, or rights, for the price we paid.
Yet should our wills choose between this corrupt business
And a paradise to come, rest assured they’d want

The world we have now.
513:16:16

Collect for the Day
To you, Creator of nature and humanity, of truth and beauty, I pray:
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and
violence among individuals and nations.
Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and will
suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war.
Hear my voice when I beg you to instil into the hearts of all human beings
the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice and the joy of fellowship.
Hear my voice and grant insight and strength so that we may always
respond to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to justice,
to need with the sharing of self, to war with peace.
O God, hear my voice, and grant unto the world your everlasting peace.

[489:226:December 15 Pope John Paul II]

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