Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33
I believe that today’s Gospel is a real challenge to the world we live in and even how we live our Catholic Faith.
Jesus clearly says, Fear no one, yet I see so many people who call themselves Christians afraid of anything different from themselves. I see many believers who honor martyrs from hundreds of years ago, protesting any intrusion on their comfort, unwilling to suffer the least change or inconvenience.
Is that the love that casts our fear? Is my faith so weak that it cannot survive the challenge of a deeper perspective or a contrary opinion? Must I lug an ice-chest, a beach chair and umbrella to face Calvary?
On the other hand, can I be so confident of God’s mercy and forgiveness that I do not even bother to change my habits or identify my sins? If Jesus is only my uncritical buddy–no demands, no challenges–why would I need Jesus? Don’t I have enough tolerant buddies already? If I don’t have such acquaintances–for such people are merely acquaintances who don’t care enough to challenge me–haven’t I demoted Jesus to being my imaginary friend?
Granted, I’ve just described black-and-white caricatures, but we do not live in a subtle or finely nuanced civilization.
Do I really trust God? Do I always need a Plan B in case God’s promises do not meet my expectations? Is that why what color shoes the Pope wears or whether you and I come from the same ethnic background or which fork you first pick up, seem so important to some people? But whom could I ever love like that? Not even myself!
I believe that if I really knew myself, I’d ultimately meet that sinner whom God is poised to forgive and love and transform.
How could I not love that sinner? How could I not trust that God?