• 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time A

    Posted on June 19, 2017 by in Reflections on Sunday Gospels

    The cost of discipleship in mission.


    Introduction:  In today’s Gospel we hear from the 10th chapter of

    Matthew, his mission discourse.  In the course of this discourse he has

    been sending the apostles to continue his mission, but also telling them

    they will experience rejection as he did.  

        In the first reading we hear from Jeremiah on his living of the

    mission he received from God.


         Homily:   The book of the prophet Jeremiah is a long one and a bit

    difficult to follow.  It is comprised of some biographical material

    about Jeremiah but also puts together his preaching and oracles.  When

    Jeremiah was called he was a reluctant prophet.  He protested that he

    was too young.  But he did accept this mission.  When he preached he

    called for the people to turn from the false gods and return to Yahweh. 

    He didn’t experience a pleasant reception.  People threw him down a

    well, put him in prison, in stocks, mocked and derided him.  He told God

    that he wished he had never been born.  He wanted to give up his

    preaching mission but said that once he decided this he felt a burning

    in his bones that he could not resist.  He did arrive at a point of

    today’s gospel when he retained confidence in God despite opposition.

    Jeremiah is a man of powerful emotions and poetic expressions.

        In the Gospel Jesus tells us not to be afraid.  He states that the

    Gospel will triumph.  He tells us not to be afraid of those who can kill

    the body but not the soul.  He has concern for the sparrows who are sold 

    very cheaply.  Not even one of them falls to the ground without God

    knowing of it.  We are worth more than a whole flock of sparrows.  He

    also tells us that our hairs are numbered.  We should not be afraid but

    then he tells us words that can make us afraid.  If we acknowledge him

    he will acknowledge us before the Father, if we deny him, he will deny

    us before the Father.  He is a God of love and mercy but also of


        During this month of the Sacred Heart we can understand Jesus under

    the title of the Sacred Heart.  The founder of the Priests of the 

    Sacred Heart (SCJs) Fatheer Dehon invites us to

    not just look at the pierced heart of Jesus, but to enter into it.

        Have we ever suffered for living out the gospel or Jesus values?  I

    remember turning down an offer of a membership in a country club in

    Mississippi .  This country club  would not admit black people.  I remember

    taking a special interest in a group of people that were considered

    thieves and gypsies. Some people did  not like that.  I remember

    preaching what I thought was the Gospel and people leaving that church

    for another.  There is a cost of discipleship.  There is also the danger

    of preaching our own selfishness and not the teaching of Jesus. 

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