HOMILY, TWELFTH SUNDAY I ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
Jeremiah 20:10-13, Roman 5:12-15, Matthew 10:26-33
In our today’s readings, we see how Jeremiah speaks of his travail in the hands of his persecutors. He was confident of God’s presence in his life. Mistakenly, his enemies thought they could trap him into sin and as such overcome him. On the contrary, Paul assures us of the special grace we stand to enjoy in Jesus, the one who told us never to be afraid. We live by God’s grace. Sin is simply a reproach.
Sin is a system of accusation created or produced by the evil one(s) to execute our fall from grace.
“Let us denounce! Say all my familiar friends, watching for my downfall. “Perhaps he will be deceived, and then we can overcome him, and take revenge on him.” Jer 20:10
If we allowed ourselves to be deceived into evil, we may run the risk of defeat. We must know that we are not defined by our sins, but by what the death of Jesus has made us. That is, sons and daughters of God. Even if we falter, as long as we keep our gaze on Jesus, the lifter of our heads, we shall always move forward and not backward. His grace is a shield. His mercy opens the door to a higher life. St Paul assures us, “for if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” Rom 5:15. We live under the dispensation of Jesus, the new Adam.
At times, we seek to please our friends to displease God. Because we want to enjoy the best of human friendship, we keep hurting our spirit-man. We make ourselves partners in evil so as to survive. If we do not put God first in our dealings, we will surely meet disappointment. The Lord said in the gospel,
“Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Matt 10:32-33
However, even if our familiar friends turn to be enemies, we must not be afraid for God is our shield. All we need is constancy in righteousness. As long as we do not lose our identity or compromise it, we shall always be safe.
Jeremiah made it clear, “But the Lord is with me a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed.” Jer 20:11
Oftentimes we suffer from the mistaken identity syndrome. We hide our identity and refract from being true representatives of God, simply because we are afraid of attack. The world is sinking into decay and many no longer seek God. In order to flow along we hide, not knowing that by so doing we are losing our identity.
The Lord said in today’s Gospel
“Have no fear of men, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:26-28.
Dear beloved, let us declare for Jesus both in the day and in the night. Let us acknowledge him in our closest or in the open. We must not be ashamed of our Saviour.
O Lord Jesus Christ, I’m very sorry for those moments when I have denied you in the presence of others. May I live the rest of my days acknowledging you for who you are. You’re the king of my life. You are my Lord and Saviour. Thy kingdom come. Amen