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WE SHOULD BEAR FRUIT IN THE MIDST OF ADVERSITIES

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Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jer. 1:1, 4-10 & Mt. 13:1-9

A series of 15 readings from Jeremiah begins today. He was reluctant to accept the call from God in 626 BC because of his youth, but God told him, “Before l formed you in the womb I knew you … l have appointed you as prophet to the nations.”

The first part of Jeremiah's ministry occurred during the reign of the devout king Josiah who in 622 began a series of religious reforms. During that era Jeremiah's words were like the seed spoken of by Jesus, which fell on good soil and yielded a rich harvest. But then things changed.

The king's successor abandoned the religious reform and Jeremiah, witnessing the corruption of the people, feared that the northern kingdom would inevitably fall. From then on he preached repentance but with very little apparent success and at the cost of much suffering on his part. His words became like the seed which fell among thorns, which grew up and choked it.

We have been called as surely as Jeremiah was. We were in the mind of God even before the world began, and His plan for us is an eternal one. Like Jeremiah, we find that some aspects of our lives are enjoyable and others are unpleasant. We meet with success and failure, joy and sorrow, hope and disappointment. Even in the most disheartening times of his ministry, Jeremiah persevered and proclaimed a message of hope for Israel which sprang from his intense faith in God.

Our faith in God must move us to overcome any reluctance we may have about accepting His will for us. Whatever He calls us to do He will help us to do. Through the good as well as the bad God is guiding us with the loving hand of a Father.

Lord Jesus, with this knowledge in mind, we can and should go through life without fear or anxiety.

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