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Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

Reading Jeremiah 17:5-10
Gospel Luke 16:19-31

"He is like a tree planted beside the waters.”

During the Season of Lent we often meditate on the image of a desert: whether the Sinai Desert, through which the Israelites wandered for forty years after their Passover, or the wilderness wherein Jesus prayed and fasted for forty days before His public life began, leading to the Passover of His Death and Resurrection. We might well consider Calvary to be a desert, also: if not physically, then morally and spiritually, since no place on earth in human history has ever been as close to Hell as Calvary.

The person whose hope is the Lord “is like a tree planted beside the waters.” When was the last time that you were profoundly thirsty? Of course I hope you haven’t, but have you ever experienced dehydration? What is such an experience a metaphor for in our spiritual life?

One of the truths that we see in meditating on the image of “a tree planted beside the waters” is that it is rooted—physically and metaphysically—in the soil. The “waters” (perhaps a river) soak through the soil, into the roots, and so nourish the tree. And so in the light of Jeremiah’s words from our First Reading today, you might pray over this question: “What is the soil of your spiritual life?”