Readings and Catechism Links:
Some Basic Suggestions:
Note: Scripture passages below contained within red, rounded brackets (…) indicate a reference from today’s readings.
1. As always, the Psalm (Ps 69:8–10, 14, 17, 33-35) and it’s response (Ps 69:14c) suggest themes for the first and Gospel readings. The first part of the response (“Lord, in your great love”) relates well to the Lord’s care and protection of the faithful (Jer 20:11, 12b, 13b; Mt 10:29-31). The second part of the antiphon (“answer me”) relates to the theme of prayer (Jer 20:12b, 13b). The gospel reading itself doesn’t relate to prayer, but the entire missionary discourse of Mt 10 is introduced with a reference to it, and this can be easily worked into a homily or brought up for discussion in a bible study (see Mt 9:35-39) .
2. God is our Father (Mt 10:29) and as such loves and cares for us (see Ps 103:13; CCC 268, 270), CCC 218-221, 733) even when friends (Jer 20:10) and family may not because of our faith and commitment to God and the Gospel (see Jer 9:3-5; 11:18-19, 21; Mt 10:34-36; Lk 4:16-30). This could help prepare for next Sunday’s Gospel which is on Mt 10:37-42. See also God as Father, Mother, and Husband: CCC 219; Isa 49:14-15; 66:13; Ps 131:2-3; Hos 11:1-4; Jer 3:4-19.
4. Evil, suffering, and persecution as tests of faith. God’s faithful can be and are tested by God (Jer 20:12; CCC 164) but such trials are of great value (Mt 10:32), especially when accompanied by prayer (Ps 69:14). See also James 1:2-8; see also Heb 12:1-13.
5. Christ is the reason why believers are persecuted, insulted, ostracized, etc., (Mt 10:17-25; Mt 5:11-12) He is also a model to be imitated when such things occur (see 1 Pet 2:20-25 with 1 Pet 3:8-4:1 and 1 Pet 4:12-16). Jeremiah’s experience in these matters prefigured Christ. Zeal for God’s house (Ps 69:10) nearly consumed Jeremiah (Jer 26:1-19, cf. Jer 7:1-15), and did consume Jesus (Jn 2:13-22; cf. Mt 26:59-62; Mk 14:57-59). Here one could talk about the Church as a temple (2 Cor 6:16 Eph 2:20-22; 1 Tim 3:15 1 Pet 2:5); or the the believer’s bodies as temples (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19), and relate how commitment to the Church, the Gospel and righteous living in faith can lead to opposition (see 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Pet 4:4)