12th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body.”
Summary vid + full text.
Difficulties and persecutions for the sake of Faith have always occurred. And in face of these adversities we feel the temptation to let ourselves be carried away by fear and to hide our condition as Christians, deterring us from the testimony that we must give.
However, Our Lord in today’s Gospel tells us ” 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. (Mt 10: 26-33). He promises that He will stand on our side before the Father in heaven, if we acknowledge Him before men.
Before those who despise us for our effort to live our Christian faith, we must realize that:
- Our Lord is with us “like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph (1st reading: Jer 20:10-13).”
- Our Lord, in his great love “hears the poor” and does not spurn his own who are in difficulty (Psalm).
- His death has gained for us God’s grace to overcome sin (2nd reading, Rom 5:12-15) and death.
In the midst of difficulties we face in our earthly pilgrimage, Our Lord encourages us to trust in God’s Loving Providence:
“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.”
- Our Lord uses the image of the “small coin” to illustrate how much God the Father loves us, his children.
- As St Jerome says (Comm. in Matth., 10:29-31): “If little birds, which are so little value, still come under the providence and care of God, how is it that you, who given the nature of your soul are immortal, can fear that you are not looked after carefully by him whom you respect as your Father?”
How often we forget this fundamental idea, thereby falling into loneliness, pessimism and despair! May our attitude in the midst of adversities be that of a child who is convinced of his father’s love. If we realize that our Father is God Himself, All-Powerful, Almighty, who loves us, we will have the interior strength, optimism, joy and serenity, knowing that He, who gave us His Only Begotten Son, will never abandon us.
Grant, O Lord, that we may always revere and love your holy Name, for you never deprive of your guidance those you set firm on the foundation of your love. Opening prayer of the Mass