12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, year A
Jer. 20: 10-13 Rom 5: 12-15 Mat 10: 26-33
Theme: The Cost of Discipleship
The three readings presented to us today invite 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 prize that Christians necessarily must pay because 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 first reading, we see that in the assertion of the prophet Jeremiah. In the second 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.
The first reading points out the fact that truth attracts opposition and persecution. 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 because of the choice you have made? Unfortunately, sometimes we give in to the pressure from the majority and join them. However, we are challenged today to remain steadfast by standing on the side of truth, light and the good irrespective of the persecutions and pains it attracts. Thus, the Psalmist would say, “In your great mercy, answer me O Lord”. This should be our prayer 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 first reading. This should be a source of strength for all those going through one form of persecution or the other, because of their call to discipleship. Just know that God will never forsake you, just remain steadfast and have faith in God. Your patience will attract God’s favours; for patience is the key when we relate with God.
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 deny Jesus with the way we talk and live our lives. When we live like children of light, it becomes easier to always acknowledge him. 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 God’s 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. In the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you!