Saturday 11, 2020

Readings:  Isaiah 6: 1 -8; Responsorial Psalm: 93; Gospel: Matthew: 10: 24 – 33 

In this Gospel reading Jesus continues to elaborate on the price we will pay for being his followers. He also opens up for us the reality of his Father’s provident concern for us of which he gives us two striking images. One is of the Father’s care for everything in creation, even for small birds that are almost valueless in most people’s estimation. The second image is of the hairs of your head that the Father ‘counts’ or gives his full attention to and cares for.

The sparrow was one of the smallest and cheapest of creatures in the market; and yet the Father’s attentive and protective care extends to it also. This simple image reassures us that, no matter how small, vulnerable and insignificant we may feel at times, we are always supported and valued by a loving, caring God.

The words of Jesus are an encouragement not to be deterred in the face of challenge or opposition. The loving attentive care of God the Father extends even to the sparrows, and we are of more value than many sparrows.

In an age when we incline to see everything in material, monetary and functional terms it is good to talk to Jesus about how nothing “falls to the ground unperceived”, much less you who “are of more value than many sparrows”.

When we feel the heat of persecution, we do well to look at the incredible accusations levelled at Jesus himself, especially that he was the master of the house of Beelzebul!

“Do not be afraid”. This is an invitation we encounter so often in the Bible. God is reminding us all the time that we can face our difficult choices without fear, trusting in his aid and protection. We meet these words so often because we do need to hear them repeatedly in our lives. Let me ask for the grace to trust God, as I hear him telling me not to be afraid

Jesus encourages us to focus on what is truly real. The soul will last, but the body will die. Persecutors of the Gospel can do no more than this finite world affords them. They may beat you and insult and even kill you should you follow Jesus, but they cannot kill your soul or take away your eternal reward.

Faith in Jesus Christ is a total human experience, not something to practise only on Sundays. Faith without action is dead. I pray therefore that mine may be a living faith and that I may accept God’s direction for my life’s journey.

‘It is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher.’ We all need role-models when we are growing up – people whom we admire and wish to imitate in our own unique way. For the Christian, the role-model is Jesus Christ, who reveals to us what God is like. Lord Jesus, may I prove to be a true disciple of yours by listening attentively to your word, and by caring for the poor, the weak and the needy.

The underlying message of these various sayings of Jesus is encouragement. When events go against us, we are to remain confident, trusting in God’s care. We are not to be deterred in the face of opposition. Why? Because Jesus is with us always.

We read here of the sovereignty of God over all creation. His loving regard extends even to the hairs of our head. He is aware of a sparrow alighting on the ground. How much more of his attention do I enjoy, given that I am the apple of his eye, created in his own image and likeness. So whatever happens, I am not to be afraid. All will be well for me.

God Bless you.  Have a wonderful day.