A Call for Doing Penance by Rev. Fr. L. Stephen Galambos, o.f.m.
A Call for Doing Penance
At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word was addressed to Jeremiah by the Lord, ‘The Lord says this: Stand in the court of the Temple of the Lord. To all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of the Lord you must speak all the words I have commanded you to tell them; do not omit one syllable. Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intended for their misdeeds. Say to them, “The Lord says this: If you will not listen to me by following my Law which I put before you, by paying attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send so persistently to you, without your ever listening to them, I will treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”’
The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of the Lord. When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that the Lord had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets seized hold of him and said, ‘You shall die! Why have you made this prophecy in the name of the Lord, “This Temple will be like Shiloh, and this city will be desolate, and uninhabited”?’ And the people were all crowding round Jeremiah in the Temple of the Lord. Hearing of this, the officials of Judah went up from the royal palace to the Temple of the Lord and took their seats at the entry of the New Gate of the Temple of the Lord.
The priests and prophets then addressed the officials and all the people, ‘This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.’ Jeremiah, however, replied to the people as follows:
The Lord himself sent me to say all the things you have heard against this Temple and this city. So now amend your behavior and actions, listen to the voice of the Lord your God: if you do, he will relent and not bring down on you the disaster he has pronounced against you. For myself, I am as you see in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its citizens, since the Lord has truly sent me to you to say all these words in your hearing.’
℟. You may put me to death,* but be sure of this, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves and on this city.
℣. Pilate washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, I am innocent of this man’s blood,* but be sure of this, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves and on this city.