Readings: Jeremiah 20:7, 10-13     Romans 5: 12-17      Mathew 10: 26-33.

The three readings presented to us today in our liturgy, invites us to reflect on the struggle between good and evil, truth and falsity, light and darkness. In relation to the life of a follower of Christ. This is very important, taking into consideration the price that Christians necessarily have to pay as a result of their call to discipleship. The good news today is that at the end of the tunnel there will be light. We see this light in our readings of today. In the 1st reading, we see that in the assertion of the prophet Jeremiah. In the 2nd reading, St. Paul tells us about the triumph of Good over evil, in the analogy of Adam, sin and Jesus. Lastly, in the gospel, Jesus sums everything up with the assertion, “DO NOT BE AFRAID”- what a great way to remove any form of fear that is nursed by his disciples and strengthen them.

In the 1st reading today, from the prophet Jeremiah, he points out the fact that when we stand for the truth at all times, it attracts opposition and persecution from some people who cannot stand the truth. The situation presented to us by the prophet Jeremiah may not be very different from what we may have encountered at one time or the other in our lives. At such moments, do you give up or you remain steadfast and be ready to face whatever is thrown at you as a result of the choice you have made? Unfortunately, sometimes we give in to the pressure from the majority and join them. The Liturgy of today challenges us to remain steadfast by standing on the side of truth, light and the good. Irrespective of some friendships we may end up losing. 

The response to our psalm today “In your great mercy, answer me O Lord”, may have been the prayer of the prophet or some of us, during our trying times. Interestingly, God never forsakes those who honestly seek him, as seen in the case of the prophet Jeremiah in today’s 1st reading. This should be a source of strength for all those going through one form of persecution or the other, as a result of their call to discipleship. Just know that God will never forsake you, just remain steadfast and have faith in God. Be rest assured that he will change your mourning into dancing at the appointed time. Patience is the key when we relate with God. Just be calm, he never attends to our needs when it is late.

In the gospel reading, we see Jesus strengthening the faith of his followers as he prepares to send them out on mission. He emphasizes the need for them to acknowledge him in the presence of people and not to deny him. We can actually deny Jesus with the way we talk and live our lives. When we live like children of light, it becomes easier to acknowledge Him at all times. Jesus is saying to you and I that there will be challenges and difficulties, but Do Not Be Afraid; I am with you.

This brings us to a very important question, do your words and actions acknowledge Gods presence in your life or it denies it? May God grant us the grace to always stand for the truth and resist evil in all its forms. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 12th Sunday of the Year A, by Fr. Jude Ifezime, C.S.Sp