Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the
He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of
but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its
roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.
Pondering the Word…
Scripture is replete with wonderful images from nature and
real world situations in which we find ourselves. There is a form of prayer
called Visio Divina, similar to Lectio Divina, but instead of reading sacred
text, we contemplate a painting, an icon, or a photograph and pray with the
image. Today, I invite you to do both: read Jeremiah’s text above and
reflect the images below. What words come to mind when you look at the
images? How do the images make you feel? What do you want to say to God
about your thoughts and emotions?
The prophet’s words are stark. He presents an “either/or”
choice—you are either cursed or you are blessed. This is also common in
Scripture, which is probably why we tend to be more comfortable with hard
and fast rules—this is what you have to do to get to heaven; otherwise,
you’re out of luck.