‘You are worth more than many sparrows…’
Reflections on the readings for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (June 21, 2020): JER 20:10-13; PS 69:8-10,14,17,33-35; ROM 5:12-15; MT 10:26-33
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
Christ reassures His followers that they are precious to Him and His Father.
In the Gospel for today, Jesus tells His Apostles to be prepared to go out into the world to share Him message of mercy. He knows that they will face many difficulties. But He wants them to trust Him and to grasp a vital difference between fear for their physical well-being and their spiritual welfare. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of he one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.… So do not be afraid.… Everyone who acknowledges Me before others I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father” (Matthew 10:28, 31-32). Christ is clearly aware that His disciples will endure trials and hardships and, eventually, many will experience martyrdom in His name. Yet as long as they are loyal to Him, He will be faithful to them and they will be with Him for all eternity.
The only thing they must really fear is sin, which can separate people from God. Christ reassures His followers that they are precious to Him and His Father. Almighty God knows all things, including the number of hairs on our heads. He is mindful even of the life and death of little sparrows. So we must appreciate just how much God cherishes us and wants us to rely on Him right now and all our days. He will provide the individual care and courage we need to do and to be all He asks.
Suggested missionary action: Let us pray for the grace to grow in faith and for the courage to share that faith with others. In our attitudes and actions, prayers and words, let us live the Gospel every day without being overwhelmed by fear.