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Homily For Ordinary 12 - Year A
Friar Sydney Mascarenhas. O.F.M., Ph.D

     The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
     of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
     this web site.  Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
     ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
     in Rome.  He can be reached at  The texts
     used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
     most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.

Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans 5:12-15; and Matthew 10:26-33

Is Christianity pessimistic?  Does Christianity profess that the
spring of Life is uncrystal and infected?  What about the Evil,
Pain and Suffering that we experience?  Are not these clear
evidence that Life is contaminated at its very Source?  Does not
Christianity profess the hatred of Joy and Peace on earth?  Does
not the Christian glory in suffering? Let us reflect over this
together with Jeremiah, St. Paul and Jesus, Our Lord and Master

Don't be a Jeremiah!  That is a phrase we use in order to depict
anyone who denounces his times.  For most people, Jeremiah is a
symbol of such pessimism.  Nothing is more untrue.  

Jeremiah firmly believed that God was for His People.  He,
however, very much lamented the fact that these People doubted
God's love and care for them in very difficult and hostile

I once met a youngster who seemed quite depressed and dejected.
He had not done as well in his exam as his father and mother had
expected of him.  He was at a loss.  He just did not know how to
break the unhappy news to his parents.  I sat and listened to his
woes.  There was one thing he shared with me, which even now
seems stark truth.  He was afraid to face his parents with the
fact of his lack of great success.
They only knew success --- so did he mutter all the time!  They
did not have a heart that could accomodate any failure --- so did
he keep telling me.  After all, both his parents were very clever
and determined.  Both were very successful in life.  Both showed
creative determination, flanked by hard work.  Both brooked no
failure.  Their grit, calm and success baffled him.
I remained silent.  I just looked at the boy.  I saw his pain,
his anguish and total dejection.  Within all that turmoil I
sensed that boy's determination to get even with his life and his

I quietly asked the boy if he had given any try at breaking the
news to his parents.  His reply was quick: Oh, I know I will get

I persisted: did you give them a chance to react to your failure? 
They are your parents!  They gave you life!  They made you a
home.  Are you afraid of being blasted by your parents?

The boy took the hint. He went back to his parents.  

Later, I heard from him.  He had spoken it over with his parents. 
Unexpectedly, he had experienced the best time he had ever shared
with them.  He had been totally wrong about them brooking no

This is what Jesus Christ is trying to tell us today. 
Do not be afraid.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the

There is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds
of sparrows.

Declare yourself for me. I will declare myself for you.

The scandal, then, about Evil, Pain and Suffering is not that
they exist.  The great scandal is that we are afraid to face them
in connivance with God, Our Father, Jesus Christ, our Brother and
the Holy Spirit, our Fortifier. Shalom!

copyright  - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and  Rev. Richard J. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 1999 - 2006
           please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.

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