Today’s Thoughts: Our readings today seem to present us with a great deal of negativity however they also present us with much hopefulness.
In our first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, we get a chance to investigate the heart and soul of the prophet. Today reading in Jeremiah, is one of five “confessions”. These “confessions” come from the personal diary of Jeremiah that probably were never to be read by someone else. These “confessions” are highly personal reflections. However, in the editing of Jeremiah’s writing someone found these “confessions” and included them in the book.
We become the beneficiaries of these personal reflections. Who of us have not felt at times like Jeremiah? Things are not going well, people are making life difficult for us and in the depth of our hearts we want vengeance, we want them to pay for their negativity, for their hurtfulness, for their disrespect, for their faults and failings. We may think this but then we catch ourselves and remember what out faith calls us to and we try to turn our own negativity or need for vengeance over to God.
This is what we heard from Jeremiah today. He is being attacked, by the community of faith, by friends, even by family. They do not like what he has to say. They are looking for him to fail. They are making is work, his ministry impossible and he in the depth of his heart is asking God to punish them. But after he expresses his deepest feelings he pauses and rights himself and places his trust in God.
St. Paul presents us a similar reflection. He is reminding the community at Rome that Jesus has died for us. That Jesus has brought the world from death to life. St. Paul is challenging the Romans not to give into the trappings of the world, but to remember what they believe, to remember what Jesus has done for them.
Jesus in our Gospel today is instructing his disciples on the struggle of discipleship. Jesus challenges the disciples to be faithful, to not fear, to not let anyone intimidate them. The journey will be difficult, the challenges at times will be overwhelming, but God has so much love for them, for us, that in the end there will be eternal life. Jesus reminds the disciples and us of God concern, of God’s knowledge of us, of God’s care for all. God know every hair on our head. God is concern about each and every sparrow. How much more is God concerned for us.
All that God asks of us, is what God asked of Jeremiah and Paul to be faithful, to not give up, to not give in to the world, to not fear, to not be intimidated. We can always, like Jeremiah, express our inner most personal feelings to God but then trust that God is always with us and will not leave us to face our struggles alone!
Have a blessed, holy, safe, and healthy Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...