Reading 1 Jer 20:10-13
“I hear the whisperings of many:
‘Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!’
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
‘Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.’
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty Champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, You Who test the just,
Who probe mind and heart,
let me witness the vengeance You take on them,
for to You I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
for He has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked!”
All throughout life, we will hear people from every angle trying to bring us down. This will happen especially in the area of faith. We will get mocked, hated on, questioned, doubted, etc. People may even try to hurt us or just ostracize us because of our beliefs. These people may not be enemies; they may be friends that turn on you because your faith somehow “offends” them or they just “don’t get it”. We may be tempted to give up our morals and religious principles because of the harassment and discouraging words of others, but God is with us. We will not fail in the struggle; we will prevail. He helps us with every trial we go through and takes on our enemies for us. For this, we should praise, honor, and glorify Him with all our hearts because we are never alone.
Reading 2 Rom 5:12-15
Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned—
for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world,
though sin is not accounted when there is no law.
But death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over those who did not sin
after the pattern of the trespass of Adam,
who is the type of the One Who was to come.
But the gift is not like the transgression.
For if by the transgression of the one the many died,
how much more did the grace of God
and the gracious gift of the one Man Jesus Christ
overflow for the many.
Sin and death are linked. The result of sin is death, and before Jesus, death was atoned by the sacrifice of an animal. The people lived under the law and had to obey the Jewish customs to make up for their wrongs. Jesus is seen as the New Adam because He wiped away the sin that Adam brought into the world. We need to think about how much of an impact Jesus’ death has. If every man was affected by Adam’s sin, then God’s grace granted through Jesus is an infinite amount stronger. We must take this grace and really appreciate how powerful and life-altering it is. It changes the world.
Gospel Mt 10:26-33
Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges Me before others
I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father.
But whoever denies Me before others,
I will deny before My heavenly Father.”
I love when Jesus tells us not to be afraid. I have so many things in life that I am scared of, but if I just listened to my Savior, I’d feel a whole lot better. Fears limit us and bring us down by holding us back on things we should say or do. Religion is an area where we may be scared to share because of what others may think or we think we do not know enough, but Jesus says we must proclaim it and bring light to the darkness. We are His messengers and His representation on earth. We cannot be afraid to spread the Good News and share what we know is Truth. He says that if we deny Him on earth, He will deny us for Heaven. I rather be known as a “Jesus freak” to people here on earth (which is such a small amount of time) than be rejected for eternity by God, Who sacrificed His Life for me. He takes care of us and knows everything about us inside and out. We must trust that He is fighting for us and even if bad things happen, He is working it for our good.