Sunday's readings are an opportunity to reflect on the strength of our relationship with Jesus. They challenge us to look at the strength of our commitment to Him. This is the theme proposed by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila.
How deep is our commitment to Jesus?
How much are we willing to bear for Him?
Jeremiah 38: 4-6. 8-10
|The prophet Jeremiah lowered into a cistern.|
The prophet Jeremiah spoke to the Jewish people on behalf of God. He urged them to repent and return to practicing the covenant. His messages upset some listeners who then conspired to kill him by lowering him into a cistern to die. However, there were others sympathetic to his message who rescued him. Jeremiah was committed to his calling and willing to suffer for the sake of doing God's Will.
Hebrews 12: 1-4
If we are deeply committed to the Lord, then we will persevere in that faith. Jesus perfects our faith. He inspires us to faith. But there are times when the going gets rough. In such times we must keep our gaze on Jesus. He, too, was opposed and rejected by sinners.
Luke 12: 49-53
Do you think I have come to establish peace on Earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
Do you find it shocking to hear such words from the mouth of Jesus? Was this really his mission, to sow discord? Other passages in the Gospels explain that Jesus came to establish the Kingdom or Reign of God. This will be a Kingdom of justice and peace. Some will accept his message and others will not, as the author of Hebrews noted above.
The message of Jesus often meets resistance, even in our own families. So there is division over it. Cardinal Tagle illustrates this with a story about a wealthy woman who was determined to follow Christ despite the objections of her family.
1. How deep is my following of Jesus?
2. How do I respond to difficulties and conflicts born out of my following the Lord?
Have a blessed Sunday!