I know nothing of what it is like to bear the responsibility and privilege of preaching the homily Sunday after Sunday, to carry the weight of a community’s hopes that they might hear a word that will rouse their weary hearts. But I do know the fear that comes with speaking up and taking a risk.
That fear entraps us like our enemies’ whispers: “Denounce!” “Watch for any misstep!” It seduces us toward the easy path: “Find a nice and safe story.” “Tell a joke instead.” It murmurs of comfort: “Don’t rock the boat.” “No one wants to hear about that.” And it lies: “They come to Mass to get away from the news and troubles of the world.”We can testify to God’s power to banish the sin of violence at our borders and in our streets. What God whispers to us in our hearts at the darkest moments of our daily lives, we must shout to the four winds! Click To Tweet
Today, the prophet Jeremiah and the rebel Messiah Jesus call us to heed a different kind of fear: the fear of the Lord that trusts in God’s providence and emboldens us with fervor in speech and action. We no longer need to be afraid to preach honestly in the face of terror and injustice in our world.
We can testify to God’s power to banish the sin of violence at our borders and in our streets. What God whispers to us in our hearts at the darkest moments of our daily lives, we must shout to the four winds, announcing the victorious love of Christ.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.