Sunday 21 June;

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel of Matthew 10:26-33

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body.

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not be afraid. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.

‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of 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.

This part of Matthew’s Gospel comes from a discourse given to the twelve disciples by Jesus in view of their mission. Here he is encouraging them by assuring them that they are completely in the hands of God and that they are valued beyond measure.

Mary Ward spoke about relying totally on God. Her companions write in ‘A Briefe Relation’, ‘Doubtless the mistrust of herself was what made her have such recourse to God by Prayer…’[1]No doubt this kept her in readiness for God’s mission of love in the world.

Can I be still for a moment and imagine how God sees me? Can I let go and relax into Jesus words do not be afraid and his description of how intimately I am known by God in my own body, my thoughts and every action I take?

If I can do this, perhaps I can become readier for mission like the twelve.

[1] The Briefe Relation, 76.