TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Father's Day)
"Fear not because God is with you."
The surprises and the uncertainties of life sometimes leave fear and anxieties in our hearts. Many times fear grips us when we are confronted with the realities of sickness, old age, when kids are grown up and have to leave home, when loved ones have to part ways, when plans shatter, when death takes away a dear one, when one looses a carrier or a job, when there is a betrayal, marital issues, financial issues, loneliness, stress in life, natural disasters and a novel pandemic like COVID-19.
In situations like these not only our faith and trust in God is adversely affected, but also our confidence in life is ruined. Like the Psalmist you may ask, ”...from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord: who made Heaven and Earth...” (Psalm 121).
It is against this background that our first reading presents the sad story of the prophet Jeremiah (C650-580BC). As the viceroy (messenger) of God, he tried to keep his people and the Kings faithful to God in a world of political intrigue. He faced hostility. His enemies/opponents were none other than his own friends, who perceived his truthful words and deeds as a thorn in their flesh so they had to denigrate and intimidate him. Even though he was afraid, he was confident that God would not allow them to prevail over him. His trust and faith in God made him successful in the ministry regardless of the dangers and challenges surrounding him.
As Christians, sometimes you may face situations like Jeremiah because of your faith, identity and living your life as a committed Christian. People may offer resistance and attacks. Do not allow fear to discourage you. Your resilient reliance and trust in God can change the story. God is bigger than fear. Fear is transient, but God is eternal. Nothing is impossible with God.
Hence, the Apostle Paul motivates us that as apostles and followers of Christ we should not be afraid of opposition in our lives, because there is a reward for us when we share in the death and resurrection of our Master. He is the New Adam who brought grace and new life to humanity. Those who oppose Christ will be dishonored. Those who remain faithful will be redeemed/blessed with eternal life. Oppositions are indispensable. We need focus and courage (not fear) to be apostles and examples in our families and societies.
In conclusion, Jesus Christ, in the gospel, inspires us to totally depend on God in times of unpleasant circumstances. He insists that the antidote to fear is reliance and trust in God. This is because no opposition to our faith can prevent us from succeeding in our mission; God will eventually expose any evil plans/deeds. God’s compassionate love and care will always exonerate us. Any cause of fear is limited, but God is eternal. Fear destroys, but trust and reliance in God save. You may have a reason to be afraid, but is it worth it when compared to the eternal bliss your trust and reliance on God can give you?
Don't make fear your ”god”; there is only one God! He is bigger than your fear.
Happy Fathers Day to all our fathers in our Tri-Parish family. We love you. You are awesome!
Stay Healthy...PRAY...Keep the Faith... Let's meet at Holy Mass...
Let Trust in God lead...
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.