Yesterday in adoration I was reading Jeremiah and it was pretty harsh stuff:
A conspiracy has been found, the LORD said to me, among the men of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. They have returned to the crimes of their forefathers who refused to obey my words. They also have followed and served strange gods; the covenant which I had made with their fathers, the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken.Jeremiah 11:9-17 (all Emphasis mine)
Therefore, thus says the LORD: See, I bring upon them misfortune which they cannot escape. Though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they have been offering incense. But these gods will give them no help whatever when misfortune strikes. For as numerous as your cities are your gods, O Judah! And as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars for offering sacrifice to Baal.
Do not intercede on behalf of this people, nor utter a plea for them. I will not listen when they call to me at the time of their misfortune. What right has my beloved in my house, while she prepares her plots? Can vows and sacred meat turn away your misfortune from you? Will you still be jubilant when you hear the great invasion? A spreading olive tree, goodly to behold, the LORD has named you; Now he sets fire to it, its branches burn.
The LORD of hosts who planted you has decreed misfortune for you because of the evil done by the house of Israel and by the house of Judah, who provoked me by sacrificing to Baal
That’s about as harsh as the Lord gets with his people, why even with the city of Nineveh God accepted their repentance and spared them, but for Israel and Judah they were out of luck.
That’s the difference Jesus makes. No matter how bad our sins, no matter how desperate our situation the sacrifice of Christ on Good Friday pays the price God’s justice demands for what we have done our job is simply to acknowledge our sins and ask for the mercy that God offers.
Let us be grateful for both the sacrifice of Christ and the Lenten season by which we can make visible our contrition for the sins we have committed