Jer 38.4-6, 8-10;
Today’s scriptural passages show that those facing difficulty who are God’s children are not alone in their time of need, God will come to their aid. Jeremiah the prophet had a strong faith and a heart filled with courage. He certainly needed it when he incurred the displeasure of King Zedekiah who allowed him to be thrown into an underground prison cell. This was only one among many instances of his physical and mental sufferings brought on by doing God’s will.
In the Letter to the Hebrews, we were reminded of the opposition faced by Our Lord and the price He paid on the Cross. This image helps us to see our pain and suffering in a truer perspective. We can follow the heroes of the faith with courage, but in Our Lord Jesus Christ, the victory is already won.
In the gospel for today’s mass, the message that Our Lord gives us seems far from the gift of peace. Do you think I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. He goes on, quite specifically, to say that households will be divided; relatives will fall out precisely over their view of Him and willingness to follow Him. In other words, what Our Lord asked for was complete obedience and the abandonment of everything to follow Him.
There is no escaping from the fact that religion is often going to create conflict. In practical terms, what should we Catholics do? We should pray for, and support those who are experiencing present conflict and do what we can to help; friendly conversation, patient explanation and gentle persuasion and encouragement could go a long way to ease their burdens.
It means, therefore, that as Christians, where conflict exists, we must try to work for a solution which respects the Catholic person’s rights and which will work also for the non-Catholic. Where division arises, it has to be lived with – Our Lord makes this clear. Where there is a potential conflict, a Catholic must face the fact that Our Lord demands our first and highest loyalty, and that our ultimate happiness and eternal destiny lies in serving and loving Him above all else.
Fr. Osho OSJ.
This article is written by Rev Fr. Joseph Osho OSJ. Please visit his personal blog @ https://www.blogger.com/profile/10377666931103644634