Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 25.06.2023
JEREMIAH 20: 10 – 13
Jeremiah said: I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my familiar friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived, then we can overcome him, and take our ‘revenge on him.” But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonour will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, who test the righteous, who see the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. Sing to the LORD; praise the LORD! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 69: 7 – 9, 13 and 16, 32 – 34 (R.) 13c
R/. In your great mercy, answer me, O Lord.
It is for you that I suffer taunts,
that shame has covered my face.
To my own kin I have become an outcast,
a stranger to the children of my mother.
Zeal for your house consumes me,
and taunts against you fall on me. R/.
But I pray to you, O Lord,
for a time of your favour.
In your great mercy, answer me, O God,
with your salvation that never fails.
Lord, answer, for your mercy is kind;
in your great compassion, turn towards me. R/.
The poor when they see it will be glad,
and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy,
and does not spurn his own in their chains.
Let the heavens and the earth give him praise,
the seas and everything that moves in them. R/.
“God’s free gift to us is nothing like our trespass against him.”
ROMANS 5: 12 – 15
Brethren: As sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned—sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
The Word of the Lord.
John 15: 26b, 27a
The Spirit of truth will bear witness to me, says the Lord; and you also are witnesses.
“Do not fear those who kill the body”
MATTHEW 10: 26 – 33
At that time: Jesus said to his apostles, “Have no fear of men; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven”
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: “Fear No One”
June 25, 2023
Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26)
This line is spoken by our Lord within the context of preparing the Twelve for the persecutions that are to come. Prior to this passage, Jesus said, “But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.” After saying much more about the persecutions to come, Jesus gives them a certain hope and encouragement in the passage above.
First of all, Jesus directly addresses one of the effects many people suffer when they encounter some form of persecution: fear. “Fear no one,” He says. Fear can consume a person when they lack faith in God’s care for them, allowing anxiety and worry to take hold. When we can keep our eyes fixed firmly on Christ and dispel the attacks we receive in life, then we will remain confident in God’s truth and not be deterred by lies.
Jesus is also very aware of the fact that fear can become overwhelming. This is especially the case when we must endure any form of severe persecution or trial. Therefore, He speaks a consoling line to the Twelve to help them have hope. “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” This is a reference to the end of time when Jesus returns to earth for the Final Judgment. At that time, every deceitful attack that people have endured will come to full light for all to see. Every virtue, including every hidden virtue, will also come to light. In the end, truth will reign and all will be judged by God’s Truth. This should be very consoling to those who have suffered injustice in life.
Persecution comes in many forms. Of course, persecution issued against you because of your faith is the worst form of persecution. But most often, persecution comes in other forms. Jealousy toward another could lead to gossip about them. Revealing the sins of another in a public way is the sin of detraction and is a form of persecution. Passive aggression, slander, the “silent treatment” and so much more are all forms of persecution. Any time one person attempts to inflict some form of harm upon another, this is persecution.
One common tendency that people encounter when another has harmed them in some way is to return the harm done. There is nothing wrong with defending ourselves by speaking the truth with love. But too often, the hurt experienced either turns into a consuming fear or into an attack against the one who harmed us. When this temptation is felt, Jesus’ words above are most helpful and freeing. In the end, no injustice will be ignored. Every wrong will be dealt with by the justice and mercy of God, and perfect order and truth will be fully restored for eternity.
Reflect, today, upon any struggle you have with fear. As you do, reflect upon Jesus’ words over and over. “Fear no one.” Do not allow yourself to be controlled by any injustice inflicted upon you. Instead, remain confident in the truth and, if some injustice is not able to be corrected here and now, look forward to the end of time when everything will be brought to light in accord with the mind and justice of God.
My courageous Lord, You endured so much ridicule and harsh treatment but never allowed it to deter You from Your divine mission of love. Please free me from all fear and give me courage when I face the injustices of life to trust that You will right every wrong in the end. Jesus, I trust in You.