See, I place my words in your mouth!
This day I set you
over nations and over kingdoms,
To root up and to tear down,
to destroy and to demolish,
to build and to plant. (Jer 1:9-10)
It can be difficult for us to be as humble as Jeremiah, and let God put the words we must say to announce the Good News directly into our mouths, and this can be even more arduous if we think of ourselves as reasonably articulate. God's assurance to Jeremiah really is an astounding promise and challenge. As long as Jeremiah lets go of his anxiety about being too young, and remains still and welcoming to God, God will give him the words he needs to be a prophet.
Jesus makes a similar pledge to his disciples in Luke's Gospel. "When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say." Although most of us will never suffer the same threats as Jesus' first disciples and be dragged before the civil authorities for preaching the Good News, Jesus' promise remains because, in some ways, our challenge is more difficult.
How often do we find ourselves trying to be too polite or careful so as not to offend those with power, money or political office? St Paul is clear: "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." (2 Tim 4:2) In other words, don't be afraid, God still puts the words we need into our mouths if only we trust.
Today, speak simply and without pretense about God's desire for the world.
Who has been the clearest proponent of a Gospel life for you?