我存证道》Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
                                           Christian resistance.

Jer. 38:4-6, 8-10; 
Heb. 12:1-4; 
Lk. 12:49-53

My friends in Jesus, I repeat the words of Saint Paul, "In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." [Heb. 12:4] What powerful words worthy of reflection!
 

In our Christian lives, we have to accept what is spiritual and pleasing to God, rejecting what is sinful and offensive to Him. Those who renounce God and His existence, they adopt sin because their actions are sinful and offensive to God. Those who do not want to hear anything about the Catholic faith through which the grace of God flows for the salvation of mankind, they also adopt sin. Those who persecute the children of God because of their faith, they too are feeding on sin. Those who intimidate the pious faithful who adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, their opposition to what is holy is a sign that they themselves cannot be holy.
 

All of these actions, while they are crosses that we must bear as Christians, they are nothing compared to the crosses that were carried by those who spilled their blood for Christ. Every year, it comes to our attention that dozen of priests, brothers, sisters, seminarians, teachers and other Catholics are murdered because of their faith in Christ. These martyrs reflect only a small percentage of the many other Catholics who are murdered in a number of countries, some nations where the Catholic faith is but a minority of the population. While the lives of many of the faithful pass by unnoticed in this world's book of Catholic martyrs, in Heaven, these martyrs are glorified for having followed in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus. Their names shall never be forgotten.
 

During today's First Reading, we heard how Jeremiah was mistreated by the king and his officials. These persons of authority did not appreciate hearing the Word of God that was being prophesied through the mouth of Jeremiah. While it cannot be denied that Jeremiah was delivering bad news, such was being done in obedience and servitude to God. In truth, it was not Jeremiah who was speaking but rather it was God who was speaking through Jeremiah. As such, when the king and his officials rejected what they heard, they did not reject Jeremiah, they were rejecting God Himself. When they mistreated Jeremiah by throwing him in the cistern of Malchiah, their actions were directed towards God. As Jesus taught, "Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." [Mt. 25:40]
 

The Holy Bible tells us that Jeremiah, like many of the prophets of the Old Testament, was frequently persecuted during his lifetime. Being human as we are, he did not appreciate it and he often fe