(Mt 10: 24-33)
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
“Do not be afraid…!” All of us have our own fears. These can be real or “manufactured” by social forces like the various means of social communication. We are afraid of rejection, failure, old age, persecution, sickness and death. The Lord reminds us in today’s Gospel not to allow fear to cripple us, hence preventing us from continuing the mission entrusted to us. It is possible that, out of fear, we are tempted to water down God’s message or give up proclaiming it altogether. Giving in to fear is the result of a weakened faith. Jesus’ example is instructive. He spoke out fearlessly against evil. Nothing intimidate Him. Even His enemies admired His courage. He had full trust and confidence in the Father.
The Lord assures us that if we place our trust in God’s power and providence, there is no reason for us to be anxious or scared of anything or anymore. When we commit ourselves to doing God’s work, we are assured that He will never abandon us. We are “worth more than many sparrows.” He cares about us in a way we may never be able to fully understand. We can draw inspiration from St. Alphonsus Liguori who one said: “When did it ever happen that a man had confidence in God and was lost?”
Daily Gospel 2017