Don’t be afraid (have courage)


Don’t be afraid (have courage)

Jesus reminds us that God’s love is so unfathomable that not even a single sparrow is forgotten or abandoned. While I am somewhat ambivalent about being compared to a sparrow, I can take the message of this weekend’s scripture passages to heart. We are called and challenged to trust in the love of God, who has called us into a relationship with God and with one another. This call to relationship and discipleship is not without its setbacks. However, trusting in God’s love and support will carry us through any difficulties.

Jeremiah, called to be a prophet, has his message rejected not just by the leaders of the community but even by his friends and those close to him. In the face of rejection, Jeremiah remains steadfast in his vocation, knowing that God is always with him. In the end, Jeremiah’s trust is vindicated, and his opponents and persecutors do not prevail.

Jesus’ message in the Gospel encourages his disciples to trust in God’s love as they continue to live out their call and proclaim the Good News. Looking at the history of persecution in the early Church and even into the present day, we witness that same trust in God’s love which enabled disciples to be witnesses of the Gospel throughout the ages.

In our own day we still see many instances of persecution – the kidnapping (and sometimes torture and even murder) of Christians, repressive laws aimed at Christians, the scorn and ridicule of neighbours, friends and sometimes even family. Jesus calls us to be his disciples and to continue to build the kingdom of God in our world – a kingdom of justice, peace, love, equality, human dignity and mutual respect. These qualities of the kingdom are often opposed by the attitudes of society around us, but Jesus reminds us that our fidelity to the call will be supported by God’s love.

A call to religious life and/or priesthood might seem daunting given the lack of support or even opposition that many face. Yet, God calls people to these particular vocations within the Church, with the assurance that God will support, guide and love those who are called. Jesus’ message is key in responding to a vocation call: “don’t be afraid (have courage)”.

By Richard Beaudette, OMI
Vocation Team