Jeremiah 15:10,16-21; Psalm 58(59):2-5,10-11,17-18; Matthew 13:44-46
Matthew 13 provides us with a number of images of the Kingdom of God. They are not all easy to see - one is reminded of 'now we see in a distorting mirror, then all shall be clear' (1 Corinthans 13:12). There are images of difficulty - the sower and the stony path, the field full of weeds, the weeds being discarded at the harvest, are not good to hear when we feel (as we often do) that we are not worthy of entry to God's Kingdom. So Jesus ends with a pair of calming, encouraging images, the perl of great price and the field with treasure. It is worth striving for this Kingdom, the end prize is beyond all our understanding!
We also have an encouragement from Jeremiah, who finds himself unable to do his prophetic ministry amongst the people. He has heard the Word of God and has devoured it, but when he speaks to the people they will not listen, and threaten him. Jeremiah can not understand why the joyful message of God's promised Kingdom is rejected by all those around him. Sounds familiar - as most people in our country have already fallen away from faith often including our own family members, it is easy, very easy to become discouraged.
No - persevere: trust in the Lord, listen to his Word, Believe what you hear, Preach what you believe, Practice what you preach and God will take care of the rest. The phrase Believe - Preach - Practice comes from the commissioning of those called to be Lectors. Up to recent times this has been part of the journey for those in formation for the permanent diaconate or Priesthood, but Pope Francis is opening up that ministry to all the people of God. With the Motu proprio Spiritus Domini, which modifies the first paragraph of Canon 230 of the Code of Canon Law, Pope Francis establishes that women and men can have access to these ministries and that this be recognized through a liturgical act formally instituting them as such, and also that these ministries are no longer only for those who are on that formation journey towards an ordination.