SUNDAY’S GOSPEL – Matthew 10:26-33
[Jesus said:] “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
POINTERS FOR PRAYER
- ‘Do not fear’ is the unifying theme in this passage which is set in the context of a mission sermon by Jesus, preparing his disciples for what lay ahead. He urges them to have courage in speaking his message and living his message, drawing strength from their trust in the Father whose care for us exceeds his care for hundreds of sparrows.How has trust in God been a source of strength in life for you?
- The body/soul terminology presupposes an anthropology in which the soul represents one’s real self and the body is the perishable shell. For Jesus the important thing is to be true to one’s real self, even if this does involve some material or physical loss or pain.When you have had that kind of courage, what was it like for you?
- There is no such thing as secret discipleship. It is in declaring their allegiance to Jesus that his followers will find life. They will be the losers if they hide their discipleship. Does this resonate with your experience?
READINGS 1 AND 3 Our first reading (Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 69 (68); and Gospel belong really well together. Jeremiah (along with the Psalm) could easily be used to explore our current experience of faith and it various challenges. Jeremiah suffered for his faith and poured out his experience in great laments. Our reading today is part of one such confession, combining complaint with confidence in God.