Lord, grant me courage and perseverance
20th Week in Ordinary Time: Sunday 18th August 2019
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
Jer. 38:4-5,8-10; Ps. 40(39):2,3,4,18;
Heb. 12:1-4; Lk. 12:49-53 (Ps Wk IV
Those who follow the law of God usually don’t have an easy time. Jeremiah certainly didn’t — he tried to tell Israel’s leaders the truth that they did not want to hear. The leaders preferred false prophets — those who would sooth and reassure them, telling them that all was well. They finally tried to murder Jeremiah by throwing him into a cistern, but God intervened, and he was set free.
We should remember that when we are doing God’s work, we are not alone. There is a power greater than us working on our behalf.
Hebrews insists that we are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses — those who have gone before us, the angels, and people who share our commitment. Jesus was first — the pioneer — and we walk the same path. If Jesus struggled and persevered, so will we. Jesus shocked his followers by telling them that he had come to bring division — in a sense, to turn people against each other. He came to bring fire on the earth — a cleansing — and to transform it into a world in God’s image.
He and those who follow him will experience much resistance and persecution, sometimes even from family, friends, and colleagues. Walking in the path of Jesus will put us on a collision course with the world, but that is the way of life.
Lord, grant me courage and perseverance.