There is so much in life that disappoints and discourages our spirits: the sharp divisions in our country, the scandals in our churches, this pandemic and the growing irrelevance of our Catholic faith in this secular culture. Yes, there is much that weighs heavily upon our spirits. St. Paul makes it clear in the readings chosen for today’s two Saints, Timothy and Titus, that we must accept trials and even persecution. Paul, himself, wrote from the inside of prison walls.
As Jesus sends out the disciples, he reminds them that he is sending them out “as lambs among the wolves,” not very comforting words. But the message of Jesus is clear: we will face opposition and rejection for our faith and belief in Christ. Our faith does bring us INNER comfort, no matter what, and INNER tranquility, regardless of the outer challenges. Our faith does not, however, make any guarantees that our OUTER worlds will be peaceful and without trial. On the contrary, Jesus and Paul make it crystal clear that it isn’t going to be easy, we WILL experience suffering because of our faith, but the reward that awaits us, brings an inner peace that becomes our rock.
As our patron teaches us, “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things pass away, God alone suffices.” Words of wisdom as we patently live through these trying times, as we face disappointments with resolve, as we grieve the loss of a loved one knowing we will see them again, as we witness the tragic effects of bigotry and racism, by rooting them out within our own hearts, as our Catholic faith is losing its relevance in our culture, fewer than twenty percent of Catholics practice the faith, and yet we persevere by loving the Eucharist all the more and letting people know how much our faith makes a difference...
May we always be like lambs, like the Lamb of God, not retaliating, not giving in to discouragement, not seeking vengeance, forgiving, loving each and every human being, especially the enemy, as our neighbor. In living like this, with all its difficulties, will transform us into the very Lamb of God, loving the wolves.