Marie’s Bible Reflection

Read Jeremiah 31. Okay, if you are short on time, just read verses 7-14. But seriously, read the whole thing as soon as you get a chance (preferably now, before I start my reflection).

Today’s world can be very discouraging for those Christians who treasure their faith and wish to spread it. It is so easy to fall into a trap of hopelessness when one sees the masses of doubting, faithless humans who understand so little of the Love that is the driving force of Christianity. It seems nearly impossible to break through to those who seem to care so little. We watch people deliberately turn from Christ day after day, including the people we care about. We try our best to evangelize, to live holy lives of grace, to be ‘cities on a hill’ so that Christ might be revealed to these unfortunate souls. And yet our efforts seem in vain so much of the time. We do not see change—we see continuing cycles of doubt and shallow fear.

Despite what we see, Jeremiah 31 is God’s promise to us that He will not abandon His children. Those who stray will be brought back into the Light. Verse 17 says, “There is hope for your future…your sons shall return to their own borders.” We must continue to pray that grace will work in the hearts of those who are lost, but we can have hope that our sorrow shall be repaid and fulfilled. God helps the loved ones of the faithful, because He is merciful to those who love Him. Even in the face of today’s rampant faithlessness and relativism, doubtfulness and hedonism, our heavenly Father gives us hope. We must be warriors of prayer, doing all that we can to bring the people around us home to Christ and His Church.

Jeremiah 31 also tells of God’s blessings directly upon those who remain faithful to Him. It speaks of the New Covenant, the Covenant that Christ Himself fulfilled when He shed His blood for our sins. The end of verse 33 says, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Our Papa is claiming us as His own! We have every reason to rejoice, for as verses 35-37 so poetically proclaim, He fulfills His promises. Because of this, we must strive to echo His love for us in everything we do, everything we are. We must repent continually and return our hearts to Him in each moment. We can never repay His kindness and mercy—that is why Jesus lived and died. But if we truly love Him, shouldn’t we do our utmost to prove it? If we truly love Him, shouldn’t we want others to love Him as well? If we are truly grateful for His countless blessings and mercies, shouldn’t we try to echo Christ’s sacrifice and virtue with every breath of our lives?

Let us not be afraid to hope in God for the future of those lost in darkness, but let us also not slack in our efforts, either. We must be valiant warriors who fight ferociously with every ounce of our being, while trusting in our General’s battle plan. Good always overcomes, but the casualties will be less the harder we fight and the harder we stick to His battle plan. Jeremiah 31 offers us hope—but it is up to us whether or not that hope is used or wasted.

Inspirational Quote

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” —Mother Teresa

Prayer Intentions

Having trouble talking to God? It’s not easy, truthfully. One way I try to keep prayer in my life is to pick one or two intentions for any specific day, and offer all my prayers for that intention. It helps me stay focused on others, and it keeps me talking to God! Below is a list of suggestions for prayer intentions. No matter how hard it is, or how we feel, we must keep praying! It is truly what gives our interior lives vitality.

Prayer Suggestions

For an end to abortion
For unity within families
For our politicians
For the preservation of religious freedom around the world
For those battling cancer
For those celebrating their birthdays
For those struggling with depression
For those fighting poverty
For the hungry and thirsty
For those contemplating suicide
For preservation of the sanctity and purpose of marriage
For children who are very ill, and for their families and friends
For all freshmen
For the unemployed
For those discerning their vocation
For those without adequate housing
For the souls of our loved ones, especially Mary's uncle

Do you have a prayer request? Please email me.

Marie Jeanette
Columnist