“What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
What you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”
From Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 10:26-33
On several occasions during his ministry, Jesus asked his disciples not to disclose his true identity as the Son of God, and some of Jesus’ parables that were exclusively explained to his disciples remained opaque to his followers. All of this changed after Jesus’ resurrection. After Pentecost, the disciples were called to boldly proclaim the Good News. Yet, there was incredible opposition and persecution experienced by those who did publicly profess their faith in the divinity of Jesus, the Christ. Today’s Gospel from Matthew reminds us that we are called to let our faith shine among others as light is displayed on a lampstand, not to be covered up, and as salt flavors food, not to be flat and without effect. We are flat when sheepish about our faith!
At first, Jeremiah was sheepish when called to be a prophet. He protested that he was too young to do so, but God challenged him and prodded him to not say he was too young and accept his calling with courage.
Jeremiah went on to be a strong, prophetic voice, whether others would receive his message well or strongly oppose it. We know Jeremiah was severely tested: “Already this prophet has been beaten and placed in the stocks overnight (Jer. 20:1-2). Later he will even be thrown into an open cistern and left for dead (Jer. 38). [From Sunday Homily Helps, Franciscan Media] Despite all of this and having to escape from Jerusalem when prophesying the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians and their subsequent exile, God preserved Jeremiah’s life. Matthew’s Gospel reminds us that the same God who cares for the lowly sparrows will even more so care for us! May we be proud of our faith and let our light shine through our works of mercy and charity for the world to see!