Twelfth Sunday of the Year

Jer 20:10-13; Rom 5:12-15; Mt 10:26-33 (Year A)

We live in troubled times. Outrages committed by the few in the name of religion have cast a dark shadow over the many who conscientiously seek to live lives of faith. There will be those who will seize the opportunity to dismiss the voice of faith completely from the public forum.

We can sympathise with the prophet Jeremiah, who, facing the difficulties of his own generation, encountered insult and derision: “I hear so many disparaging me, ‘Terror from every side! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’ All those who used to be my friends watched for my downfall.”

Jeremiah refused to desist from his condemnation of a corrupt regime. Despite rejection, he continued to proclaim a God whose salvation would bring healing to a broken society. “The poor, when they see it, will be glad, and God-seeking hearts will revive; for the Lord listens to the needy and does not spurn his servants in their chains.”

As we are human, the temptation in troubled times is to hide our faith away. Anticipating the rejection that his Gospel would generate, Jesus called the Twelve to an open and fearless declaration of his truth: “So, if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven.”

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