June 21, 2020: Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: Matthew 10:26-33
Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And 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.
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.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
This was some “pep talk,” Jesus gave his disciples before sending them out to preach in his name! He certainly doesn’t mince any words, speaking of those who can “kill the body” and urging them to proclaim his message from the housetops, to speak it in the light, even though the consequences may be dire. Three times he tells them not to be afraid! For my part I would be scared to death!
In prayer, I will ask for the courage to raise my voice in defense of someone who is being spoken ill of or being left out; or in defense of immigrants and the conditions of detention centers and prisons. I ask Jesus to remove fear from my heart.