Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 25, 2017
Just after the Holy Father died in April , I spoke with a group of college students about their difficulties in witnessing to faith on campus. They told me both their Catholic and non-Catholic friends challenge them daily. They’re bombarded with questions—about Mary, confession, the priesthood, for example. In labs and classrooms and internships, they’re confronted on abortion, stem cell research, and end-of-life issues.
In many ways, these young Catholics face more challenges than I do behind the safety of a Roman collar or habit. I couldn’t give them all the answers I’d have liked as we ended our discussion. But I did assure them that as part of the Church, they have the gift of the Holy Spirit and the support of their brothers and sisters as they try to live their faith.
Those college students might identify with the prophet Jeremiah in today’s first reading. He hears the whisperings of his enemies around him: people waiting to trap him—and some of them were friends of the prophet! But Jeremiah is confident that God is with him.
In the Gospel, Jesus encourages us to be bold in the task of witnessing to him. And as for the opposition? “Fear no one,” the Lord declares. Despite physical harm and even bodily death, our witness will result in the only approval that really counts, Jesus and the Father.