A Virtuous Life

Friends in Christ, in the first reading today we see that God has asked the prophet Jeremiah to buy a linen loincloth, put it on, and then hide it in a crevice in some rocks. And after a long time has passed, he goes to get it and finds that it is rotted away.
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Jeremiah performed many symbolic actions at the Lord’s request, to prophecy to the people the Lord’s displeasure with them, because their lives had become focused on false gods. The linen loincloth recalls the linen cloth worn by the priests in the temple.[i] God had chosen Israel to be his priestly people. Just as that garment fitted Jeremiah exactly, literally, it ‘clung to his loins’ – God had wanted the Israelite people to be united to him, to ‘cling to him.’ This Hebrew word, for clinging to, is found often in the Book of Deuteronomy. It means fidelity to God. This ‘cleaving’ to God comes about through Faith.
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Faith means putting our entire hope in the Lord, not in things, which are the false gods of our life. For many it is not so obvious that putting faith in God will have a ‘payoff’ for them. They think only in the short term. But fidelity to the Lord, living one’s life for Christ leads to good character, to being a virtuous person and to heaven; but this all takes time, and trust.
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In this regard, Jesus says that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which is so tiny – yet it grows in to a very large tree. A virtuous life is like that. Saying ‘no’ to the easy way, and choosing the way of virtue; slowly and imperceptively, this grows into the good character of a fulfilled person.
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Just like yeast that is hidden in dough, a life, faithful to Christ will grow and raise the dough – but slowly and gradually.
The Way of Jesus is not always easy, but it leads to a fulfilled life, and heaven.

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[i]  See Navarre Bible under this passage of Jeremiah

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