12th Sunday in Ordinary Time ~ June 21, 2020
My dear family of God, it is with great joy that I welcome all of you to this weekend’s Mass. May God continue to protect each and every one of us and keep us always in His love. Our first reading for today taken from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah 20:10-13 forms part of the passages known as the confessions of the Prophet. Jeremiah in his lamentation to the Lord says “I hear the whisperings of many: ‘Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!’ All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. ‘Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.’
This passage must always be read against the backdrop of Jeremiah 1:4-10 in which God assured Jeremiah among other things to be with him and to deliver him. God, however, seemed so remote as Jeremiah’s friends denounced him and set traps and watched for any misstep of his. But when all things looked gloomy around him and all hope seemed lost, Jeremiah expressed utmost faith in God when he says “But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
Perhaps Jeremiah’s greatest pain was the fact that his adversaries and persecutors were not strangers but his own friends. People who will exchange greetings of peace with him everyday. So in his supplication, Jeremiah will call on the Lord who “tests the mind and the heart” to come to his assistance. Why? Because it had become impossible for him to determine who was on his side and who was not. It is said that there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. Our friends and family may turn against us but God is eternally faithful to His children. The God who protected Jeremiah from his adversaries and persecutors will protect us too if we will repose our faith in Him.
Do have a grace-filled week and a Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers. May God bless and keep you always.
Fr. James Ahenkora O