Perhaps you have heard the expression, “Life is like a bowl full of cherries.” It is a phrase designed to tell us that life is just simply wonderful, in fact, that it cannot get better. Today’s first reading and gospel tell a different story about the Christian life. Doing the right thing does not always appear to be wonderful. In fact, doing the right thing, living as God wants us to live, is in fact, sometimes, the recipe to things appearing to get worse, not better. Jeremiah is threatened with death for being God’s prophet. Jesus is attacked for liberating the possessed. And we too, in our lives, can find that when we do what is right, we too can be threatened or persecuted. But in all of this, God is always with us. And as long as we know that, we too, like Jeremiah and Jesus, will have great cause for joy.
Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Town and Country, Missouri.