In the Gospel Reading, Jesus exclaims no less than three times, “Fear not!” Anything that takes place as part of Jesus’ mission is no cause for fear. Security is found by living our Christian mission, regardless how daring our actions may seem.
LIVE COMPASSIONATELY AND CONFIDENTLY!
In the Gospel for Mass this Sunday, our blessed Lord tells us to not be afraid and instead live as God’s children (Matthew 10:26-33). We often encounter people who are distressed and overwhelmed by the hardships that life brings with it. The undesirable circumstances seem only to multiply when anyone relies solely on human ingenuity and personal resolve to overcome difficulties. Further, we often meet Christians who are tepid to speak clearly and confidently about God, to sound a definite “no” to falsehood and when required and to show themselves to be intentional disciples of Jesus. They are afraid of what people will say, of a critical remark, of going against the current or of drawing attention to themselves.
Is it possible for a Christian not to draw attention living in a world increasingly dismissive of God and when it seems the multitudes place ultimate value and meaning on economics?
Jesus tells us not to be concerned about possible slander and criticism: “Do not be afraid of them” (v. 26).
Assuredly, there are moments when keeping silent is the best thing to do because of prudence or charity, but never out of fear or cowardice.
There is a pressing need to proclaim the truth clearly. Falsehood and confusion are leading many people and families astray. It seems absurd, but common sense itself is increasingly hard to see and hear practiced.
Friends, do not be afraid of being criticized or even slandered because we go opposite currently popular godless trends. Take to heart Jesus’ promise: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father” (v. 27). We will be rewarded by God for all those times when people do not understand us because we labor to live generously and compassionately, with holy daring, in a world often unable to understand anything absent unbridled self-promotion and material gain.
Fearing neither life nor death, facing difficulties joyfully, persevering through challenges, always trying our best, choosing sacrifice as opportunity, remaining calm and confident in uncertainty – this is how God made us to live! It is possible when we remember who we are and dare to live each day as children of God.