Cycle C Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

We hear in the first reading regarding the secularist’s approach to Jeremiah.  How much does it remind us of some today who object to the Church’s teachings?  They object and say we are demoralizing people, making them feel bad about themselves, we are not interested in the welfare of all people but in their ruin!  They say the Church doesn’t want them to be happy but to make them outcast because they are different.  Like King Zedekiah, many government officials and courts have said they are in your power, do whatever is necessary to silence it.
The second reading reminds us that we “are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.”  We need to, “persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”  We are called to do such out of love for our neighbors not out of desire for persecuting them.  However, just as Jesus endured the cross, we too need to endure the criticisms and chastisements of the secular world that only focuses on the short-term desires of their flesh rather than the long-term desire for heaven.
Some people only want a church that is warm and fuzzy and tells them anything they do is ok, no matter how evil it may be.  Yet such isn’t what Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “I have come to set the earth on fire.”
Some think Christianity is all about being peaceful and loving, “I’m OK, You’re OK”, God loves us just the way we are, we have no need to do the better, he would want us to be happy even if we are living a sinful life.  Yet Jesus responds to this thinking with, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”  The call to holiness is often at odds with secular world.  Are we willing to challenge the world to be holy or are we simply going to sit back and say, “it has nothing to do with me!”?

Author: yuengerwv

Retired Catholic Priest

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