Page 78 - Lent2012v3b

Basic HTML Version

Lenten Weekday
Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 5-6, 7
John 10:31-42
Each of the readings for today introduces a central figure under attack by his
enemies. Jeremiah demands that the Lord take vengeance upon his oppressors;
the psalmist cries out for rescue; but Jesus, at risk of being stoned to death,
shows neither fear nor vengefulness. He does not call out to the divine; instead,
he identifies himself with the divine: ˈ. . . the Father is in me and I am in the Fa-
Both Jeremiah and the psalmist adopt the struc-
ture of the so-called complaint psalm, which has
been described as a mini-drama featuring the
psalmist or narrator, the enemy, and God.
Jeremiah cries out to God for revenge and pleads
for deliverance. The psalmist likewise calls down
divine scrutiny, confident that the Lord will take
his side and deliver him from his enemies. Divine
rescue is invited and expected both by Jeremiah
and the psalmist, and by the reader. This is a
mini-drama that has been played and replayed in
biblical literature for hundreds of years.
Jesus˅ encounter with the Jews who attack him,
by contrast, begins on a note of irony that is dis-
tinctly modern. ˈI have shown you many good
works from my Father. For which of these are you
trying to stone me?ˉ (Or as we observe today:
ˈNo good deed goes unpunished.ˉ) But the Jews
are serious and their reasoning appears impecca-
ble: Leviticus teaches that blasphemers must be