Readings for the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Jeremiah 23:16-29; Hebrews 11:17-31; 12:1-3; Luke 12:49-53
“Everything’s going to be fine. You’ve got nothing to worry about.” The amount of comfort these words give us depends entirely on who’s talking. If it’s someone with real knowledge and experience – a doctor, a plumber, an accountant – then our minds are put at ease. But if it’s that well-meaning neighbor or family member who’s just telling you what you want to hear – then they’re just empty words.
The prophet Jeremiah warned the people of his day not to listen when false prophets gave rosy predictions of the future, even while Babylon’s armies were standing outside their gates. God’s Word won’t always tell us what we want to hear. But it will always tell us the truth. And there is power in the truth. Jeremiah compared God’s Word to a hammer and to fire (Jr 23).
Jesus similarly warns his disciples not to expect smooth sailing as they share the saving message of the kingdom. Rejection of the Gospel will lead to divided families. Only by repentance and faith in Christ do we find true and lasting peace (Lk 12).
The writer of Hebrews continues recounting the faithful actions of people in the Old Testament. We are reminded that a life lived by faith in Christ requires endurance, a laying aside of sin, and keeping our eyes on Jesus who keeps us in the faith (Hb 11).