12th Sunday of Ordinary Time A
June 19, 2017 by
David Jackson 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.