This week’s connecting point Jesus is giving his disciples a pep talk. He knows the journey he is preparing them for is a tough one. Proclaiming Jesus’ Gospel message will be difficult for them as they will face persecution, words of hate, and even death. Jesus reminds them not to fear the people of this world, fear the Lord. There are those capable of taking your life, but the Lord has the power over both body and soul. I can imagine the disciples’ eyes widen as they hear and ponder Jesus’ words. Yes, the road is hard, and the disciples will face the reality that some people are comfortable with their own definition of truth.
This is true for us today. The Lord reaches out to us saying, Fear not for the Lord loves you. This is the same God that knows when each sparrow, sold for only two coins in the marketplace, falls to the ground. Think about how much more abundantly he loves each one of us! Well, he sent his only son to suffer on the cross for us. Now it is our time to pick up that cross and not fear. We will face hard times just like the disciples. Look around our world today. Does it seem apocalyptic? Amid a pandemic, social unrest, and racism, we see what was hidden in the dark reveal itself by the light. You can see the many cell phone cameras recording images of injustice shedding light on social issues; however, Jesus’ teachings help illuminate that which we sometimes try to keep hidden. Prejudices and insecurities can wound others. We see this broadcasted on our television networks, cable, satellite, and even social media. We view the lashing out in protests with looting. Some people have lost their way. They do not fear the consequences of their actions and lose sight of the Lord. The feelings of injustice urge those to retaliate. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. You hurt me, I hurt you. Today’s reading should give us a pause. By responding unjustly in response to injustice will bring more pain and suffering. We see in the first reading Jeremiah suffering from injustice by his own people. Instead of dishing out his own special form of retaliation he knows that he must leave it to the Lord. He uses the Lord’s grace to persevere in faith.
As a community we seek justice, but those that lower themselves to the level of the aggressor in retaliation will be just as complicit. The one thing that helps us rise above the distraction is the word of God. Jesus’ message must burst forth form the darkness and into the light! This is where, as followers of Christ, we can help others return to the Lord. Have no fear to proclaim the message in his name, do not be tempted to respond in kind with injustice. Reply with his grace he has gifted to us. His providential care is for all creation and we are to emulate his love for all including our enemies. Even now we are seeing tempers starting to cool off. We see young leaders at protests reminding others not to be tempted by their urge to retaliate. We see curfews lifted and reduced violence. We each have the light of Christ in us, we can let it shine over the darkness. We can decide to rise up with the loving grace of God as a beacon to those searching for hope and justice. Join our St. Isidore community in prayer this week for the Lord’s grace to awaken the spirit of those in leadership positions to guide us away from fear. Let us pray for the respect for all life, just as the Lord remembers even two little sparrows.
God Bless You