18th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday, Year II

The Lord promises the Israelites through Jeremiah in today’s First Reading that the next covenant he forges with them will be different. The first covenant he made with them was on Mt. Sinai after he had led them out of Egypt, and even as he was writing it on stones for Moses up on the mountain the Israelites were violating it down below in the camp. The new covenant would be written on their hearts, not on a piece of stone.

Our Lord brought about this new covenant in his blood, as he himself said in the Last Supper and we remember in every celebration of the Eucharist. We renew this covenant every time we participate in the Eucharist. It is a covenant born from a profound encounter with God in Jesus Christ. That inner intuition that makes us strive to please him and chides us for displeasing him is the covenant written on our hearts. It is not just our conscience, but the Holy Spirit also working within our hearts.

Let’s show our love for the Lord today by making an extra effort to listen to that voice in our heart that leads us to please and serve him.

Readings: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Psalm 51:12–15, 18–19; Matthew 16:13–23. See also 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, and Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.