30th January

In my few words of a homily, I spoke about the temptation to give up on life but specifically on the Gospel, when the going gets tough. The first reading from HEBREWS 10:32-39 speaks about the persecution of the first generation of Christians and the corresponding exhortation to remain faithful to Christ.

Persecuted Egyptian Christians.

Persecuted Egyptian Christians.

Remember all the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days; sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to insults and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way. For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you happily accepted being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting. Be as confident now, then, since the reward is so great. You will need endurance to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.

We can remain faithful to our love of God and neighbour if we remember that in challenging times that the fruit of our labours depends not on us but on God’s presence and power in the world. Mother Teresa summed it up as: My job is to be faithful and God’s to be successful. The presence of God that brings about the success/harvest is the subject of the Gospel:

‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’