2015 Lent Reflection – Thursday 12 March

12 March Lent Reflec 2


Jeremiah 7:23-28


“They did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” I wonder how many could join this lamentation about a prophet’s experience and arrive at God’s conclusion: “truth has vanished.”

Such people should be found among those who are looking for a way forward for humankind, genuine “progressives”. I think about people who relish the social teaching of the Church, who rejoice having principles giving direction towards equality and justice. It gives a vision that is, however, often neglected, even rejected and contrasted by a disheartening reality.

Such people may well be appalled by ever clever spin-doctors that understand well to sell wrong for right. They may feel robust solidarity challenged by those who dwell in denial, e.g. of xenophobia. They see inequality still increasing when extractive political and economic practices powered by corruption leave little about the concern for the common good and serve the enrichment of a considerable minority. They may endure being ridiculed for suggesting with the principle of the universal destination of goods that disproportionately affluent people could part from most of their wealth and use it for creatively investing in the poor. They may understand that the principle of subsidiarity requires proper education to enable people to take initiative and do on their own what they can do; pain-stricken they fear that present disruptions in the educational system further jeopardize competent participation of the poor. While some lip-service may be rendered to these italicized principles, the lamentable impression remains that many pursuing their own ends don’t incline their ear.

Exactly for this reason it needs people with integrity that live their baptismal offices: as priests offering themselves for Christ’s justice, as prophets raising undeterred their informed voice and as king/queen involving themselves. When renewing baptismal promises at Easter we might well like to include and renew our commitment to living these baptismal offices of priest, prophet and king.

Practical Suggestions

While some more ideas may emerge:

  • Discover in the social doctrine of the Church a template for a refreshingly new society with a rejuvenated spirituality.
  • Converse with your family, friends, in your Small Christian Community or sodality about closed ears, how to resist frustration and to stay committed.
  • Rejoice in following Christ the priest, who did not sacrifice others but himself, through your commitment and love.
  • Seek involvement in all sorts of school and hospital bodies, in traditional gatherings, trade unions, political parties, at work … and make your own prophetic convictions heard.
  • Make use of your gifts, your talents and your treasure and participate in ruling by casting an intelligent vote, questioning deputies in their constituencies, and if you invested money ask questions at shareholders’ meetings and insist on just wages and a healthy working environment.


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.




+Bishop Michael Wüstenberg
Bishop of Aliwal