Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time
We are all called to be disciples of Jesus Christ? A disciple is someone deeply in touch with reality and has the courage to make sure the will of God is done in that reality. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ will take some creative work, but the job of a disciple is always to do the will of God. The challenge I see today from our readings is, “How are we good disciples of Jesus Christ and know no fear.”
Jeremiah in our first reading was a prophet for God, he knew persecution, suffering, and terror, but I do not see him knowing fear. When he complained to God about his troubles, God would remind him that he was chosen to be a prophet before he was born. The first part of the reading Jeremiah is lamenting, but then there is a switch, as Jeremiah says, “God you are my champion, I shall know no fear.”
In our second reading, Paul says something interesting about being a good disciple of Jesus Christ and knowing no fear when he says, “Do not give into the fear of sin, whatever sin we have do not give in to sin, but only fear the Lord.”
In our Gospel, Jesus is getting ready to send his twelve disciples out into the world on their mission trip. The disciples are to do what Jesus has been doing. They are afraid, so he says to them, “Fear no one!” Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not fearing humans and only fearing God, out of great respect for God.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ and knowing no fear means standing up for what we believe in as Catholics. We stand to protect all life from conception until natural death. We stand for religious liberty and being able to worship and profess our faith in the freedoms we enjoy. As Catholic we stand for truth, shall we know no fear?
Grandparents as disciples of Jesus Christ you are to know no fear by being people of great prayer. If you are retired, you have the gift of time, be people of great prayer.
Husbands and wives as disciples of Jesus Christ, you are to know no fear by loving each other better than on the day of your wedding. The two of you have weathered the storms, have no fear in loving each other.
Parents as disciples of Jesus Christ you are to know no fear by handing on your gift of faith to your children. Do not know fear in loving them and giving them your faith. Children as disciples of Jesus Christ do not give into fear by using your devices inappropriately. Treat people with respect, love, and integrity as children of God? Single people, as disciples of Jesus Christ, know no fear by living lives that are pure and chaste.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ and as your pastor, I pledge to love you and honor you all the days of my life. I pledge to serve you in birth and death, and in all the days in between. I promise to do my best in prayer so others may see the presence of Christ. I struggle with fear each Sunday when I wake up; the evil one plays on my heart trying to make me afraid of bringing God’s Good News. I pray not to give into fear and be a good disciple of Jesus Christ.
My friends in Christ, being a disciple of Jesus Christ is hard but life-giving work. May this Eucharist brings us closer to working even harder as a disciple of Jesus Christ and to know no fear.