TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Which command from God is repeated most often in the Bible? Is it “Thou shalt not commit adultery” or, perhaps, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God with all thy heart….”? No! It’s the command we find in verses 26, 28 and 31 in today’s Gospel reading: DO NOT BE AFRAID.
- Jesus gives three reasons why his apostles, and we, should not be frightened or afraid: As his disciples, committed to following him, Jesus will support us and affirm us in our mission. God always exposes peoples’ evil plans and deeds. So, do not be afraid!
- Our opponents have limited power. They can hurt and upset us, they can even kill the body, which is going to die in any event, but they cannot kill the soul. Have faith! Do not be afraid!
- God is compassionate towards us: He loves and cares for each one of us. We are more important to God than sparrows. So, do not be afraid!
Blessed Antonio Rosmini wrote in his Third Maxim of Christian Perfection:
“The Christian should remain perfectly tranquil as to all that is divinely ordained, in regard to ourselves, or even to the Church of Jesus Christ; and, in labouring for the Church, to follow the indications of the Divine Will.
Jesus Christ has power over all things in heaven and on earth … the Christian therefore should feel perfectly tranquil and full of joy, resting entirely upon Our Lord … and should banish from his heart all uneasiness, and every kind of anxiety and solicitude …” (Maxims, nos. 1,2&3). Perhaps you may wish to sing hymn 964:
“Be not afraid, I go before you always”
Fr Philip Sainter