20th Sunday in the ordinary time of the year C
Theme: Persecution: A part of the package
On this 20th Sunday of the ordinary time of the year C, the readings we have prepares us for some of the challenges that awaits us as followers of Christ, and also strengthens our faith with the fact that God will always make our journey with us. In the 1st reading of today from the prophet Jeremiah, we see the plot that is been made to eliminate the prophet. This is simply because they are not comfortable with his prophetic message that challenges their practices and way of life. In view of this, the prince took permission from the king to kill Jeremiah. However, while they were making their own plans, God has already mandated a messenger in the person of Ebed-melech who spoke to the king and the prophet Jeremiah was rescued from the cistern they dropped him to die of hunger. One thing that is worthy of note in today’s 1st reading is the fact that the prophet Jeremiah was been persecuted because of his message to the people. In view of this dearly beloved in Christ, we must always remember that persecution is part of our call to discipleship; we cannot run away from it. But our source of great strength at such moments should always be the fact that we have God on our side and he will never disappoint us, just like in the case of the prophet Jeremiah in today’s 1st reading.
A good understanding of the challenges that are associated with our call to discipleship, will help us appreciate the 2nd reading for this Sunday, from the letter to the Hebrews. When the reality of our option for Christ begins to dawn on us, we must stand resolute and remain steadfast to the end. This is because our perseverance to the end is what will win us that crown of unfading glory; the salvation of our souls. My brothers and sisters in Christ, our journey to heaven, is like a race, and it is only those who persevere to the end that will win the crown of glory for themselves. That is why our strength to persevere to the end in times of trials and persecution is very important in our journey of faith. As children of God, we must always draw strength from our master Jesus, who faced more difficult situations and came out victorious at the end; he will never fail or desert you at such moments, he is ever faithful.
In the gospel reading of today, Jesus points out the fact that your option for Christ comes with a price that may separate you from your loved ones. Just like in the case of the prophet Jeremiah in the 1st reading; we must brace up for it and trust in the mercy and faithfulness of God.
May our faith be strengthened in times of persecution, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.