25 Jun Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
This Sunday the church returns to Ordinary Time and green vestments. We also return to the continuous reading of Matthew’s Gospel. We had finished chapter 7 when Lent and Easter were celebrated. Two chapters (8 and 9) spoke of Jesus’ early ministry in Galilee with healings and the calming of the storm. As Matthew continued Chapter 9 he introduced the fact that Jesus was beginning to encounter opposition. Today, Jesus begins to prepare the Twelve for missions of their own. Jesus sends The Apostles out to preach the coming of the kingdom of heaven in word and deed. He knows they will encounter resistance and even life threatening opposition. Thus, He starts and finishes the core of His instructions by saying, “Do not be afraid.” He tells them that just as He was rejected, so would they. Just as He experienced hostility, so would they. He warns them not to fear anyone and to preach boldly.
The great prophetic mission Jesus shared with His Apostles is the same mission He gives to us. When this responsibility becomes burdensome or seems an impossible undertaking we can look to the experience of those who have gone before us in faith. Jeremiah shared his woes and worries today in our first reading. He was also careful to remind us that even in the depths of his misery, “The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion…sing to the Lord, praise the Lord.” In case we are tempted to think that God is not paying attention as we labor and suffer, Matthew assures us that God, who may seem distant and silent, is so attentive that every hair on our head is known to Him. Moreover, God keeps careful account of every sparrow and how often each lights upon the ground. “So, do not be afraid; we are worth more than many sparrows!” When we doubt the following prayer is quite appropriate “I do believe, help my unbelief.” (Mk 9:24)
As we continue with Ordinary Time, let’s plan to make sure it is anything but ordinary. Every day is a gift of God in which we are invited to become one with Him in everything we do. May Jesus Christ be praised!