'Persevere in running the race that lies before us'
Reflections on the readings for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 18, 2019): JER 38:4-6,8-10; PS 40:2,3,4,18; HEB 12:1-4; LK 12:49-53
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Living the full life of a Christian calls for sacrifice and determination.
But we need to remember that we are not alone. “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). We can find the reassurance and encouragement that we need by focusing on Christ. He gave everything for our sake, so that sin and death would be crushed by His cross.
Moreover, we have the benefit of the example of so many faithful, generous, courageous people who have gone before us, as well as those of our own generation. Choosing to belong to our Lord and to share our belief and hope in Him with people we meet throughout life will sometimes be joyful, other times, painful. But we need to keep our confidence in Jesus and to emulate His goodness and mercy. He is always here for us, whether we feel His presence or not. Our Savior never abandons His cherished people. Let us never allow ourselves to abandon Him.
Suggested missionary action: Let us resolve to make a daily examination of conscience and to go to confession on a regular basis. In contemplating our sins and making an effort to avoid them in the future, we draw ever nearer to our beloved Lord and Redeemer.