Today’s readings tell us that it is impossible to “set the world on fire,” if we are “stuck in the mud.” In the gospel, Jesus warns us that the earth needs purging and it will be His immersion into the passion and crucifixion that will cleanse the world. We are being told that we too, must approach our apostolic role with zeal.
Often in dysfunctional domestic situations, we discover members of a family continuing in unhealthy submission to poor behaviors in order to “keep the peace.” This is an artificial peace. It is an anxious peace. It is a peace that fosters fear and inappropriate compliance. It is difficult to eliminate this kind of situation. It causes great anguish. All involved get stuck in the mud of hopelessness.
We as followers of Christ are commissioned to bring good news and real peace to our brothers and sisters. Like Ebed-melech, who rescued Jeremiah from the muddy cistern, we are called to speak-up for one another; we are called to find the means to rescue others; we are advised to find helpers in our endeavor to assist those in distress. In the story of this rescue, we should notice that Ebed-melech stops at a linen closet to cushion the ropes that will be placed under the prophet’s arms. We are called to such gestures of kindness and care. Most of all, we are called to make our prayer life zealous. So many of our neighbors get caught in a slump. We want to be the people sending the ropes of rescue to them.