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Priest's Reflections

Parish Priest’s Reflection, August 18, 2019

The Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time Year C.

Readings

Jeremiah 38: 4-6, 8-10
Hebrews 12: 1-4
Luke 12: 49-53

Theme: Be careful about our modern prophets: True prophets struggle against sinfulness and they resist the evil ones to the point of shedding their blood.

Our biblical texts this Sunday give us two outstanding examples of the identity of a true prophet in the persons of Jeremiah and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah and Jesus stood up against sin and the evil ones without fear even to the point of shedding their blood.

In the Second Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, we are challenged by the last sentence of the Reading; it says;

“In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

This challenge from the Letter to the Hebrews 12: 4 which insinuates that we do not do enough to fight sin assists us to appreciate the great Prophet Jeremiah and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour but also a great example of Struggle against temptations and sin:  The Letter to the Hebrews says, “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”

So we can ascertain that Jesus Christ is the greatest example of what a true Prophet is like.

A true Prophet resists sin.  A true prophet does not come into our lives to appease us but to give a painful treatment.

Because a true prophet causes pain in us, he tends not to be popular.  Majority of popular prophets are false ones.

Listen to what the princes say about Jeremiah; “Let this Jeremiah be put to death, for he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them.”

Jeremiah confronts the political leaders and the security forces.  So Jeremiah was cast into the cistern of Malchiah and he sank in the mire.

Jesus Christ is not shy to openly declare the purpose of his coming: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!”  He speaks of his death as a BAPTISM.  “I have a baptism to be baptised with, and how I am constrained, until it is accomplished!   Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth?  No, I tell you, but rather division.”

Jesus does not compromise the truth or the right thing to be said and done whatever the results.  His only aim is to say yes to God the Father.  Let the Father’s Will be done.  In carrying out the Father’s Will we fight sin even to the point of shedding blood.  Jesus fought sin to the point of being crucified.

Lord give us your courage.  Let us be alert about the so many false prophets that promise us heaven here on earth without reprimanding us to reject sin.

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