Today’s First and Second Readings show the two extremes in which a believer be found in serving Our Lord by sharing his message: alone and abandoned in the mud at the mercy of evil and injustice, or spurred on by the example and help of a “cloud of witnesses” who show that the path of belief is the right one. We all experience moments in the mud and moments enthused by our faith and that of our fellow believers.
Jeremiah in today’s First Reading was the victim of the very division that Our Lord would later forewarn his disciples, yet Jeremiah in the end was rescued through the intercession of just men. When we face division and strife over transmitting the Gospel we should not become discouraged, because Our Lord suffered such things first, as well as many believers who came before us. In moments of enthusiasm we mustn’t forget that there will be moments of the Cross, but in moments of the Cross we should be bolstered by memories of our moments of enthusiasm.
In all circumstances we need Our Lord’s help, just not in the same way. Let’s ask him to help us in fair weather or foul.
Readings: Jeremiah 38:4–6, 8–10; Psalm 40:2–4, 18; Hebrews 12:1–4; Luke 12:49–53. See also 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday, Year II, 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday, and 15th Week in Ordinary Time, Monday.