Today is Thursday the 7th of August, in the Eighteenth Week of Ordinary Time.

The Dunedin Consort sings Mache dich, mein Herze, rein from Bach’s St Matthew Passion.  ‘Make my heart pure.’ We tend not to think of ourselves, as pure, just because the bad feelings in our own hearts – anger, spite, impatience – are so plain to us. But what is a pure heart?  It is a heart that is open to God, that wants whatever God wants. I purify my heart whenever I ask God to show me the way, whenever I surrender my will to God’s will. And I can do that, now.

Today’s reading is from the Prophet Jeremiah.

The prophet Jeremiah speaks here of a ‘new covenant’ – a new understanding, a new relationship between God and his people, in which God will “forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”  What does that offer of forgiveness mean to you?  What are the wrongs – in yourself or in the world around you – that most need forgiving?

In this new covenant, we are told, God will ‘write his law in our hearts’ and we will know him without needing to be told.  That might sound like a vision of Utopia, of a perfect world.  But can you perhaps detect signs or glimpses of this prophecy being fulfilled?  Is it ‘coming true’ in any people you can think of?  Is it coming true, even partly, in you?

Christians would interpret these words of Jeremiah as a prophecy about Jesus – through whose life, death and resurrection a new covenant was forged between God and humanity.  Listen to the reading again in the light of that thought.

What do you want to say now to Jesus, about forgiveness, perhaps, or about wanting to know God more intimately?  Whatever you want to say to him, speak those words now.