Christ Our Lord, Is With Us
Readings: 1st: Jer 20, 10-13; Ps: 68; 2nd: Rom 5, 12-15; Gos: Mt 10, 26-33
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
On this twelfth Sunday of ordinary time, we celebrate Christ Our Lord who is always with us. He continues to deliver us from all that threatens, and make life difficult for us. This includes persecutions, sins, and death.
In the first reading, God delivered the prophet Jeremiah from the deadly plots and hands of evil men. Our world is full of threats against the righteous and innocent. Today, hardly would a day pass without one hearing news of terror. This is the cause of great fear and inquietude for many, especially, for those whose trust is solely on this world rather than being in God.
However, for those who like the prophet, realize that the Lord is on their side, God will surely not disappoint them. As a mighty hero, He will surely act. The threats and gravity of these terrors might appear overwhelming. However, they are certainly not greater than what God has handled in the history of humanity.
Today’s second reading has a lot in common with the first. First, while the prophet was innocent of all the accusations and threats against him, humanity inherited death through the sin of disobedience of her progenitors (Adam and Eve). In a similar way, while God delivered the innocent prophet Jeremiah from the plots and terrors of his enemies, in the second, Paul recounts how Christ delivered humanity from the terrors and shackles of death.
Thus, Paul draws our attention to a very important aspect of our salvific history. This is especially, with regards to the relationship between sin and death; and of course, the relationship between the consequences of Adam’s disobedience and that of Christ’s obedience. For, while Adam’s disobedience and sin brought us death, Christ’s obedience brought us life.
This is the summary of what Christ did for us. Through his sacrificial death and obedience to his father’s will, He dissipated the terrors that threaten our life and restored our peace. Thus, He delivered us from damnation due to the sin, and the fall of Adam and Eve.
In the gospel, Jesus exhorts us: “Do not be afraid, for everything that is now covered will be uncovered.” This includes the plans of the evil ones who are always threatening to persecute and destroy the just. It suffices to note that, Christ knows that fear and the threat of death can paralyse one. As the Lord of the living and the dead, He knows that physical death is not the end. Rather, it is a transition to eternity. Hence, he further exhorts us: “Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell fire.”
In these comforting and assuring words of Christ, rest our hope and future as Christians:” Every hair on your head has been counted. So, there is no need to be afraid!” They simply indicate that the Lord is on our side. He is ready and capable to deliver us from both the consequences and harmful effects of sin, as well as from all the threats that we face in our daily life.
Finally, all we need to do to merit the protection Christ promised us today, is simply to be on his side by trusting him. This, calls for being just and innocent in our ways and actions. It means being true Christians. Of course, it also means submitting completely to Christ.
Peace be with you!