Saturday of the 17th week in the ordinary time
Theme: The cost of discipleship
In the 1st reading of today, we see the people planning to carry out their threat of killing the prophet Jeremiah for delivering Gods message to them. A message that condemned their bad lifestyle and God was inviting them to retrace their steps, lest they incur his anger. However, their threat did not make the prophet Jeremiah run away, but rather he handed himself over to them to do with him whatever they wanted; this was after he explained to them once again that his message was directly from God. However, no harm came to him, because God used people among them to speak on his behalf, and he was not killed as they had earlier planned to do.
Dearly beloved in Christ, one thing that is very clear is the fact that we can encounter different types of difficulties when we choose to stand for God; by doing what is good and right. No matter how careful we try to be, we cannot completely escape such situations. But the most important thing is that we don’t lose our faith in God at such times and he will never desert us; he can come to our aid through different means. This is one of the prices we may have to pay for being a follower of Christ and standing for what is good and right. This automatically makes us an enemy to those who are either benefitting from the situation, or are not just comfortable with the fact that it is coming from you. When this happens, we must always pray for the grace not to lose faith and stay strong; trusting that God will come to our assistance.
Also in the gospel reading, we also hear about John the Baptist, who was not as fortunate as the prophet Jeremiah in today’s 1st reading. As the prophet of God, he could not stomach the evil deed of King Herod, who took Herodias the wife of his brother Philip. John the Baptist had to tell Herod that his action was evil and an abomination in the sight of God. Herodias was not comfortable with it and when the opportunity came, she requested for the head of John the Baptist. Dearly beloved in Christ, our challenges come in different ways, let’s just pray for the grace to stand firm and trust in God at such moment. It is important that we don’t allow the fear of what will happen to us stop us from speaking the truth and doing what is right at all times. As we do this, may almighty God bless us in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.