During this time of pandemic, today’s scriptures certainly are timely. Jesus tells us not to be afraid, to speak the truth with clarity and light. There is nothing to fear. God is intimately with us at every moment — God, who has counted every hair on our heads.
To the point: Jesus tells the Twelve (and us) that acknowledging him and doing his work will not be easy. This mission ought not be undertaken lightly because there will be opposition. Neither, however, ought the mission be undertaken with trepidation because God does not abandon us. Forces will oppose this mission, but a promise of divine care will sustain us. Faithful disciples will be named in eternity.
Connecting the Gospel (Matt 10:26-33) to the first reading: Jesus’ words in the Gospel are particularized in the life of Jeremiah. Because he was faithful in proclaiming God’s word (he was persecuted, imprisoned and threatened with death), Jeremiah was protected and sustained by God.
Connecting the Gospel to experience: People give of themselves entirely and without fear in order to serve the greater good — for example, firefighters, police, Doctors without Borders, foreign missionaries, etc. The greatest good that we serve is the mission of Christ.
“Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid”.
God knows us better than we know ourselves;
loves every freckle and fiber of us.
God counts us worthy to spread the Word.
But we can’t breathe, Jesus.
We have no control of virus or climate,
and there is a knee on our neck.
you tell us!
Breathe in us again and be our nerve and our backbone.
We will stand up straight and proclaim your Word
in a loud voice to all the people,
in all the places, times
and events of our lives.
The first reading
“But the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion.”
Jeremiah told us, through his gritted teeth.
“Praise the Lord!
O God of all hope,
when our lives come crashing around us,
when there’s terror on every side,
let us hold on to just one thing:
trust in your mercy.
The second reading
“For if by the transgression of the one the many died, how much more did the grace of God overflow for the many.”
The gift of grace,
the life of Jesus,
and roots out,
slashes to nothing,
all our transgressions.
Lord Jesus, let us all receive
Copyright © 2020, Anne M. Osdieck
“You Are Near”
“Serenade for Strings”
“His Eye Is On the Sparrow”