Mrs. Peggy Brechtel, Op
“Denounce! Let us denounce him! All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.” (Sound like anyone we know, like Judas Iscariot?) “Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail and take our vengeance on him.” (Does this sound like the Pharisees and Sadducees?)
Jeremiah has a large heart and a great trust in God. He knows his persecutors will stumble. They will not triumph. He praises God who will rescue him from the power of the wicked.
Paul says we are not without hope, that our lives are not hopeless. Sin and death may have come into the world through the trespass of one man, but it was through the grace of one man that we have been given the gift of new life. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have been pardoned, our sins have been forgiven, and we have been made righteous as we stand before God. Jesus’ gift overcame Adam’s fall.
Gospel of Matthew 10:26-33
Jesus says that what has been revealed to us in the darkness we must speak in the light. There is a time for silence and a time to speak. Pray always for prudence, asking the Mother of God that the Holy Spirit will guide you in this matter.
Jesus also says, “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” We must take a lesson from the martyrs who did not apostatize but held firmly to the faith as passed onto us by the apostles. Through our faith, we must be prepared to die for Christ if necessary. Pray for final perseverance in the faith. Jesus promises, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”
This Gospel reading is part of the instructions Jesus gives to the disciples after he has commissioned them to proclaim the approaching Kingdom of heaven (10:1-42). In this brief text, the phrase, “Do not fear” appears 3 times. Jesus encouraged them and attacked the fears that could cause them to abandon their mission. The coming of the Reign of God was inevitable, and fear must not prevent the disciples from proclaiming it.
If we strive to follow the Ten Commandments and live out the beatitudes, we will grow closer to the Kingdom of God day by day, remembering the two greatest commandments are to love God and our neighbor.