Jeremiah 20: 10-13 – Romans 5: 12-15 – Matthew 10: 26-33
I find it amazing how appropriately God is speaking to us today in what we have heard from the Scriptures which are the manner that God communicate with us.
First, there are the thoughts of Jeremiah, the prophet. In his role as prophet he is calling the Chosen People to reform and to return to the covenant relationship between God and themselves. But he is rejected and even persecuted. In his words he gives testimony that he has found the source of hope in his life in God. No matter what would happen to him, his trust is in God. Jeremiah is motivated by a deep and abiding faith in God. What was essential to him was not that he was accepted in his preaching or even that he would survive, but that he maintains his faith and trust in God no matter what.
What we hear from St. Paul today is likewise fitting. He is writing toward the end of his life and ministry. He states that in the time before Christ, sin and death prevailed. With Christ, however, everything was different. Salvation and life were possible. Despite all that Paul had gone though, much like Jeremiah, his faith in Jesus Christ, his trust in God, did not waiver. He was firm in his commitment to God and to his mission.
Jesus affirmed this understanding in the passage we heard from the Gospel of St. Matthew. If we have true faith in God, we need not fear anything or anyone. This does not mean that we do not need to show both prudence and charity because these virtues, too, show our ultimate belief in the presence of God in our lives.
How well the thoughts found in these Scripture passages today fit with the experience we have in our lives at present. The reality of Covid-19 has disrupted so many things we commonly did. Unlike most other tragedies and disasters, the lives of every one of us has been affected in some way. Perhaps, and hopefully, it has not involved illness or death. But there are many other ways in which its presences has impacted us. It has been, indeed, a challenge to the depth of our own faith and trust in God. As frightening and as sobering as the pandemic is, does it not also teach us a great deal about ourselves and about the ability to care about others and not just about ourselves? Have we not benefitted from the thoughtfulness, the generosity and the sacrifice of so many? Heroes, they have been called, whether in hospitals or in grocery stores.
At times it may be asked whether this whole experience we are having with Covid-19 and it effects means what God loves us any less. No! What I understand the word of God communicating to us today is that in all things, no matter the challenge before us, our fundamental faith and trust in God is to be maintained. Ultimately we will get through this and we can grow in so many ways as a result. Our God has given us life and our God’s love for us continues.
What Jesus tells us and what Paul and Jeremiah demonstrate, is that no matter what we may confront in life, God’s love for us can be discovered and it is this that confirms in us our faith and trust in or good and gracious God.