5 March: Jeremiah 17.5-10

Thus says the Lord:

Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals

and make mere flesh their strength,

whose hearts turn away from the Lord.

They shall be like a shrub in the desert,

and shall not see when relief comes.

They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,

in an uninhabited salt land.

 

Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,

whose trust is the Lord.

They shall be like a tree planted by water,

sending out its roots by the stream.

It shall not fear when heat comes,

and its leaves shall stay green;

in the year of drought it is not anxious,

and it does not cease to bear fruit.

 

The heart is devious above all else;

it is perverse—

who can understand it?

I the Lord test the mind

and search the heart,

to give to all according to their ways,

according to the fruit of their doings.


Trust is not something the comes easily to me, and so the words, ‘Trust in the Lord’ do not just trip off my tongue.

Mary trusted the Lord. Her son was publicly executed as a convicted criminal. Francis Xavier trusted the Lord and died in China, far from home and family. Indeed, the witness of the saints and martyrs is that trusting the Lord does not guarantee an easy life and might very well lead to suffering, misery and death.

My prayer today is, ‘Help me to trust you.’ And God’s reply is, ‘My promises are for the next world, not for this.’

Perhaps this is why faith is one of the cardinal virtues; because faith is something we must work on and pray for. Faith does not simply come to me: I must bend my mind to trust God, for the decision to trust him is not lightly taken.