“When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart.” How beautiful are these words from the first reading for Mass, from the book of the prophet Jeremiah. The scriptures truly are living words. So many people have felt the same way about them, throughout the centuries. They are a treasure, yet to be discovered. Just like the buried treasure in the field that Jesus talked about in today’s gospel, or the pearl of great price that a merchant spends years looking for. There are so many people throughout the ages that have looked for the truth in these words, and found it.
Like any beautiful thing though, it can be twisted and perverted into something that God never meant it to be. Evil is the perversion of truth. A good thing can be twisted into something that is bad, for a person(s) own motives.
That is what happened to the prophet Jeremiah in today’s first reading for Mass. He loved the scriptures with all of his heart. It was a genuine love. This reading says that he ‘devoured them’ and they became the joy and happiness of his heart. God’s words were more precious to him than gold. This verse quotes Jeremiah saying, “I neither borrow nor lend”.
Because of the fact that Jeremiah had come to love God with all of his heart, and all of his mind, and with all of his life, he was persecuted by his own people. They turned against him. Jeremiah told God that, “You have indeed become for me a treacherous brook, whose waters do not abide!”
The problem with Jeremiah is that he spoke God’s Word with vile, with contempt for others. He took something good and twisted it into something evil. God’s words are good and were never meant to be used as a weapon. It is wrong to use God’s words to inflict damage on other people.
God’s words are meant to bring about change in others through love. His words are holy and to use them for any other purpose, is to dishonor them. It is wrong to take something good and use it for an evil purpose or to hurt another person.
Our words are not the same as God’s words. What we say to others is one thing, and to err is human. But, to use God’s words against another person, for the purpose of hurting them, is morally wrong.
God said if this happens to us, then don’t worry about it. He will take care of them, Himself:
“Though they fight against you they shall not prevail, for I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord. I will free you from the hand of the wicked, and rescue you from the grasp of the violent.”
May we always respect and honor God’s Word, and never use His word to hurt other people with. If others hurt us by using God’s Word against us, then we should just let it rest, knowing that the situation is in God’s hands, and He will take care of it.
Daily Mass Readings:
Jeremiah 15: 10, 16-21 / Psalm 59 / Matthew 13: 44-46