Homily by Br. Kliment

Praching of July, 27th 2022 by br. Kliment

Brothers and sisters,

seized with the fear of speaking before you, I implore the Holy Spirit and your indulgence. Let us go back to the first reading and make the prophet Jeremiah a prototype of the preaching brother to inspire us. We see in him a true concern for justice, and at the same time Jeremiah does not deny his weaknesses, his impression of being on the sidelines, his indignation… And yet not everything is bad, on the contrary!

If we take into account the Greek interpretation of this excerpt, and I choose a possible interpretation of verse 16, the prophet asks that the “words of God” (plural) be fulfilled, that they be brought to perfection, that they find their unity and completion and become a “Word” (singular with a capital W). This deep intimacy with the Word, in whom we readily recognise the second person of the Trinity, who became in fixed time our Lord Jesus Christ, is for the heart of the prophet a source of joy and gladness. The prophet is called to remain in communion with the Word, to contemplate Him, to rejoice in Him. He is imbued with it, he tastes it. Now the presence of the Word cannot be without effect, the Word is always acting. The prophet adds that “your name has been invoked over me in epiclesis” Jer 15:16, or even “your name has pronounced an epiclesis (epikeklètai) over me, Lord Almighty”. Behind the words ‘Lord Almighty’ is God the Father, and after that, the ‘name of God’ according to some Church Fathers is one of the appellations of the Word (cf. the Our Father prayer). In other words, brothers and sisters of the Order of Preachers, in this verse we can find traces of the Holy Trinity, the Word contemplated in us pronounces an epiclesis over us, he asks the heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. This is exactly what Jesus does when he prays for his disciples. You may well recognise in this the ‘contemplata…’ part of our motto, which is not only a study, a work, but also a sanctification, an interior perfection, a conformation to the Word in the intimacy of our person.

This profound intimacy gives birth to Jeremiah’s virtues. Before appearing before those to whom he is sent, he spends time in solitude filled with bitterness, let us say, with the spiritual struggle linked to the digestion of the Word. Yes, the Word, even if it is true, is not always pleasant for us. Jeremiah has the impression that the world around him is stronger than he is (yes, it is), and he worries about the results of his mission, of his preaching.

This constant recourse to intimacy with God, a concern for virtue, disposes the prophet Jeremiah to become ‘like the mouth of God’ v. 19, while the effectiveness of his preaching takes charge of the Lord himself: ‘They will return to you, not you to them’ v. 19, and a little further on: ‘I am with you to save you and deliver you’ v. 20.

Here, brothers and sisters, are some elements for our contemplative eye. It seems that the prophet knew well what the motto “contemplata aliis tradere” means. Let us therefore enter his school to be better rooted in our vocation.

Fr. Kliment Mikulka

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