12th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023
When I was growing up, my mother always told me that it was impolite to whisper. She would tell me, 'If you have something to say, say it so everyone can hear.'
It was her way of teaching me to be open, to share with honesty, and to avoid creating an atmosphere of secrecy or suspicion. She taught me to understand the power of our words, and how they can either build trust or sow seeds of doubt.
She was right. Think about how whispers operate in our world. Have you ever noticed how a whisper can change the atmosphere of a room? A whisper can spark curiosity, or cause discomfort. It can make us feel left out or uncertain. It's a tool often used to share secrets or to communicate hidden messages.
But today, I want to shift your focus from the whispers of the world to a different kind of whisper: the whispers of our faith. These whispers, too, have a power of their own, and it is this power that can transform them into a proclamation of God's word.
We find whispers in the readings today. In the book of Jeremiah, we hear of the prophet Jeremiah tormented by the whisperings of his enemies. They were not whispering words of encouragement or love, but of terror and vengeance.
Such whispers sought to bring him down, to trap him, to see him stumble. But Jeremiah had faith. He held onto God's word, to His promises. He knew, despite the whispers meant to tear him down, that the Lord was with him as a mighty champion.
Just as Jeremiah faced whispers of adversity, we, too, confront whispers in our lives that seek to challenge our faith, instill fear, or create doubt. These whispers might make us feel isolated, or we might even feel like we're on the brink of losing hope. But remember that these whispers do not define us.
Turning to the Gospel today, we encounter another mention of whispers. But here, Jesus gives us a different perspective. He speaks about whispers, but He also calls us to transform these whispers into proclamation. He says, "What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops."
This is a clear call that we are not meant to keep our faith a secret, hidden, whispered in corners. No, we are called to bring it to light, to share it openly, to proclaim it loudly for all to hear.
Jesus also assures us that nothing is hidden from God. Just as we know that whispers can no longer remain secret in His presence, we can take comfort in the fact that we are seen, known, and loved by God.
Jesus reminds us that even the hairs on our heads are counted! Not a single sparrow falls to the ground without our Father's knowledge. If that's the case, how much more does He care for us?
Our journey of faith is a transformation, moving from the whisperings of uncertainty and fear to the proclamation of trust and belief. In the beginning, we may whisper our prayers, quietly seek God, unsure of our place in His love. But as we journey with Jesus, as we deepen our relationship with Him, our whispers of faith become proclamations. We learn to speak God's truth with conviction, not because we are free of adversity, but because we know that Jesus is our refuge in times of trouble.
Let us not be swayed by the whispers that seek to bring us down, create doubt, or instill fear. Instead, let them propel us closer to God, strengthening our faith and our resolve to proclaim His word.
But this begs a practical question: How can we, as everyday Christians, move from whispering about our faith to boldly proclaiming it? It starts by living out our faith openly in our day-to-day lives. It's about showing love, compassion, and kindness to others, just as Jesus did. It's about standing up for what's right, even when it's difficult. It's about making the choice to live out our Christian values, even in the face of adversity.
Next, engage in conversations about your faith. When a friend asks why you are hopeful, tell them about the love and strength you find in Jesus. When someone is struggling, share how your faith has helped you through tough times.
Finally, never underestimate the power of prayer. Pray for the courage to speak about your faith, for the right words, and for the opportunities to share the Good News. And remember, you are not alone in this task. The Holy Spirit is always with you, guiding and empowering you.
Because in the end, it's no secret what Jesus can do for you, for me, for all of us. It's up to us to share that message with the world. So, I challenge you, my brothers and sisters, to let your faith speak louder than whispers.
Remember what my mother always said: 'If you have something to say, say it so everyone can hear.' Let's apply that lesson to our faith. Let's let it resound from the rooftops.
When we speak our faith loudly and clearly, we not only affirm it within ourselves, but we also become beacons of God's love for others to see. Let our faith be no secret, but a proclamation of His love and grace.