September 4, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Duped: a Sunday Scriptures blog

You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped, says Jeremiah, in our first reading this Sunday. Jeremiah had resisted God’s call as a prophet, saying he was too young. When he eventually did surrender himself to God, instead of being held in honor as a prophet, he was treated with hostility by the king and the Jewish people. So he protests vigorously to the Lord about being duped. What a great reading for us all. Life does not turn out as we imagined. Marriage, parenting, religious life, the occupations we choose — we undertake them hopefully and then experience the crosses they entail, crosses Jesus speaks about in the Gospel. There, Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer, and be killed, and he adds: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” The disciples, especially Peter, did not want to hear it. And neither do we! In our discipleship lives we must decide, we must rededicate, we must re-choose — often several times during the course of our long lives. We choose repeatedly to lose our life in order to find it, as Jesus says. When we pass through those stages painfully, we come to understand ourselves and the purpose of our lives. Our souls mature and become able to handle reverses and tragedy and still keep loving and forgiving. So maybe being duped is not so bad after all!

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia; The Prophet Jeremiah (1511), from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo, {{PD-US-expired}}

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