Sunday Soundbite for June 25, 2023

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A
June 25, 2023

You are probably aware that it’s dangerous in some parts of our world to be Christian. Vatican News cites that “one out of every seven Christians in the world–suffers high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.”

So we can appreciate the ancient texts we hear today: Jeremiah the prophet beset on every side by enemies, and Jesus telling his followers: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” Since Jesus’ time, persecution has been a reality for the Church.

Most of us attend Mass in relative safety. So how can we witness in our world?

First, there is no need to keep the gospel a secret for fear of what others might know. Therefore, disciples should speak out forcefully and publicly from the strength of their faith.  Second, while opponents can cause bodily harm, they cannot destroy the inner person. Finally, the disciples need not fear because they are highly valued by God and therefore God will care for them–even though appearances might say the contrary.

Along with the disciples some 2,000 years ago, we too are called to trust in God’s providence. May we be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. May they know the protection of our loving God!

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