THEME: DO NOT BE AFRAID, YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN MANY SPARROWS.
(Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans.5:12-15; Mathew; 10:26-33)
The whole of the tenth chapter of Mathew is in fact, a collection of Jesus’ teaching on mission. Certainly, many of the instructions in this chapter are not meant to be followed literally. However, the attitudes they inculcate which include; detachment, dependence on God rather than on human techniques, courage and boldness in the face of opposition, must inform our today’s mission and ways of bearing witness to the Lord. It is not the letter of the instruction that matters most but the spirit.
Three times in today’s Gospel we hear the command “Do not be afraid!” With this Jesus is telling His followers (all of us), not to be scared by human might and power that would surely oppose their witnessing to the Good News- that would oppose your Christian values. As we know, Fear is a powerful force that can lead us to panic and flight. Many a time fears limit our human endeavours and achievement in life.
These encouraging words from Jesus are valid for us, disciples of this age and time. They are especially valid in our time when witnessing to our Christian faith brings at times nothing not scorn, mockery, rejection and hatred. Anxiety and fear are the results when we perceive that all we have that all we have and love are endangered or are being threatened; when we sense that we cannot secure them on our own strength and might. Jesus message however is clear, whenever we have concerns for inner peace, for our welfare and for our lives: do not be afraid!
Dear sisters and brothers, Jesus therefore, calls us, his followers to display a witness courage and boldness in the face of persecution as a result of our faith in God; courage and boldness in the faces of sickness, fear, anxiety, trials, worries as a result of our faith in God and the gospel values. Often because of the fears of suffering some pains, losing some material gains and favours or even losing our lives, we easily compromise our faith and the demand to stand on the side of God and to defend our Christian values. Jesus rather wants us to place greater priority towards safeguarding our relationship with God than losing it and our eternal life subsequently. It really takes tremendous courage to give authentic witness to one’s faith in Christ. May God take care of all our fears and worries through Christ our Lord- Amen
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!