Today’s first Mass reading goes to prove that the Old Testament isn’t some dry historical record. It also shows that God has an ironic sense of humor. Don’t @ me if I take some editorial liberties with the text.
Jeremiah 13: 1-11 opens with God telling Jeremiah to go buy a new pair of underwear, put them on and wear them, but not to wash them.
Okay, God? Um… right. I’m headed there now. Might have to pick up some jock itch spray while I’m at it. But I trust you.
. . .
God? It’s Jeremiah. I’ve been wearing these crusty Underoos for about a month now, and I have to say that the experience hasn’t been pleasant. My friends are avoiding me. The restaurants are making me eat in the far corner of the patio. My next door neighbor has been making veiled threats about throwing a shower party for me. I don’t know what that means, but I don’t want to find out.
Jeremiah? It’s God. Okay, it’s been long enough. Head on down to Pareth. You know that old wall where the chinking is crumbling away from the stones? Change your shorts there and stuff the stinky ones into a crack in the wall.
Thank you, God! Should I put a biohazard sign over the crack?
That won’t be necessary, Jeremiah.
Time went by, Jeremiah had a successful round of appointments with his dermatologist, and everything had gotten back to normal. Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah again.
Jeremiah? It’s God again. Hey, you remember those crusty undies I made you stuff in that crack in the wall down in Pareth? Yeah… I need you to go back and get them for me.
Seriously, Jeremiah. It’s important.
So Jeremiah headed back down to Pareth to retrieve the underwear that God had commanded him to stuff in the wall crack there, and Jeremiah was not happy at the reunion. He pulled them out of the crack with a long stick.
Oh, my! God? There isn’t much left of them. They’re falling apart, and they’re… still pretty ripe!
Aha! Just as I suspected.
Is there a moral to this story, God?
Yes! You know what those rotten undies are like? They’re like Judah’s pride! Judah is wicked, and stubborn, and won’t obey me. They worship strange “gods” and adore them in my place. So I’m going to make them like that pair of grundy undies that I made you stuff in the crack in the wall.
God? I feel your pain.
That’s all I wanted, Jeremiah. I wanted to make an impression on your mind. You may find this a bit weird, but Judah and Israel used to cling to me about as closely as a man’s underwear clings to his skin.
That’s… that’s touching, God.
I know. But now? They won’t even listen to me.