And so they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Prince Malchiah…letting him down with ropes.
Our readings today invite us to reflect on our commitment to Jesus Christ. Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden of sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. These men and women steadfastly persevered in following Jesus Christ, not growing weary and losing heart. These are people of faith through the ages that have completed the race and crossed the finish line – sharing in eternal life with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are not just standing by, hoping we too are successful – rather, they are cheering us on, praying for us in our daily struggle against yielding to temptation and sin.
In Revelation 3:15-16, we read: I know your deeds. I know you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were one or the other – hot or cold! But because you ae lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth. How strong is our commitment to Jesus… hot, cold or lukewarm? The prophet Jeremiah’s commitment to serving God almost cost him his life. In those days, the princes said to the king: Jeremiah ought to be put to death…However, Jeremiah knew that he could count on God to be with him.
Jesus said to his disciples: I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! The Holy Spirit came down on the disciples in tongues of fire. The Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says, convicts us of our sins – burns away anything in the way of our total commitment to Jesus Christ! In the Letter to the Hebrews we read: In your struggle against sin you have not resisted to the point of shedding blood. Yes, our commitment will be a struggle. In today’s gospel, Jesus warned His disciples about the “cost” of committing to follow Him. Let us close in reflecting on the words of Poper Emeritus, Beedict XVI “Christ comes to divide us from whatever divides us from him.”
God bless us all always!