First reading: Jeremiah 20:10-13
Psalm: Psalm 68(69)
Second reading: Romans 5:12-15
Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33
Link to readings
Today’s liturgy recognises the presence of adversity in life, the power of God’s love to bring us through adversity to the fullness of life, and the invitation to trust that powerful love.
I settle down to pray and become aware that God, who awaits my company, is the same God who created the universe. I try to lay aside my concerns… and, when I am ready, I slowly read the opening prayer several times.
What phrases or words call for my attention? I savour them and talk with God about what they mean for me.
How does it feel to be so important that the Creator of the Universe wants to spend time with me? I tell God…
Perhaps there are uncertainties that God brought me through, orthat I want God to bring me through. I talk with God about these, remembering that God never abandons me and is never unfaithful.
Jeremiah has delivered a difficult message to God’s people who have seriously neglected their way of life.The people refused to change, but Jeremiah would not be silenced, and so was imprisoned. Jeremiah uttered the above while he was in the stocks! He seems depressed, but he recalls God’s love and the eventual fate of those who are evil, and so is able to rely on that love and to praise God even as he suffers.
I come into God’s presence and slowly read the text.
Who am I as I read it? Myself? People who suffer because they speak out for justice and truth? People who suffer through no fault of their own?
How do I feel as I read it?
When have I felt the Lord at my side as my support?
Do I really believe, like Jeremiah, that, in the end, evil will be put to shame and justice and truth will flourish?
I talk with God about what is in my mind and heart.With Jeremiah I trust in God and try to sing God’s praise.
Jesus speaks these words to the disciples as he sends them out on their mission. He tells them to proclaim what they hear from him in prayer; not to fear persecution; to witness to him with confidence; and to trust in the power of goodness.
I settle into my time of prayer and ask the Spirit to open my mind and heart to the words of the Gospel. I read the passage slowly, several times, pausing where I feel drawn.
Perhaps I recall the importance of prayer to Jesus and to myself. What have I heard from God in prayer? What task has God entrusted to me? Do I proclaim that to others, either in words or in the way I live?
Perhaps I recall how Jesus and others stood firm when opposed. What was the source of their strength? I admire their total security in God and ask for the same gift. Is there anything (or anyone) in my life which I ought to fear because it endangers my soul, my relationship with God? How do I nourish my relationship with God?I talk with God…listen to him… thank him… and ask him - for my own needs and those of others. I rejoice that “The Lord is at my side, a mighty hero” (Jeremiah).
Reflections based on Prego by St Bueno's Outreach in Diocese of Wrexham