TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle A/Year I (June 25, 2017)
Jer 20:10-13/Rom 5:12-15/Mt 10:26-33
After Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, His very first message to His disciples is this: do not be afraid. This teaching is actually found in the many passages of the gospel of Jesus throughout His teachings just like in the today’s gospel. This message had been constantly repeated by Pope St. John Paul II in his messages throughout his long period of pontificate.
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus Christ tells us never to be afraid because “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known” (Mt 10:26). This simply means that truth will triumph. William Barclay said that when James the Sixth threatened to hang or exile Andrew Melville, Melville’s answer was: “You cannot hang or exile the truth.” The truth will always set us free as the bible tells us. We can never hide the truth. As long as we abide with the truth, we must never be afraid because the truth will endure and it will set us free.
We should never be afraid of telling and proclaiming the truth. The world is full of lies because the world is under the dominion of the Satan, the father of lies. During this modern time of communication and media, we see the proliferation of fake news. Everyone is trying to fool everybody. There is no truth in the things that they say. As Christians, we must always remain in the truth and fight for the truth. We must proclaim the truth and say only the truth. Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the truth; His teachings are true. We must never depart from His teachings but must always, without fear, proclaim the truth of His teaching. Barclay said that “Once Latimer was preaching when Henry the king was present. He knew that he was about to say something which the king would not relish. So in the pulpit he soliloquized aloud with himself. ‘Latimer! Latimer! Latimer!’ he said, ‘be careful what you say. Henry the king is here.’ He paused, and then he said, ‘Latimer! Latimer! Latimer! be careful what you say. The King of kings is here.’”
Secondly, Jesus said that we must “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” (Mt 10:28). It is normal to be afraid of what can harm our bodies: sickness, accident, and death. We live in this material world and we move and act through our material body. It is easy to think that we only live a physical life. But our faith teaches us that while our body perishes, our spirit lives forever. We must therefore give more importance to our spiritual life because it continues forever. Consequently, we must not be afraid of those that can harm our temporal physical life; rather, we must be afraid of those that can harm our eternal spiritual life. This simply means that we must never be afraid of anything except sin.
Lastly, Jesus said that we must never be afraid because we “are worth more than many sparrows” (Mt 10:31). God loves us so much and we are worth the whole universe because the whole universe was created for us. Moreover, God sent His Son to the cross for our salvation because God so loves us. Therefore, trusting in the love of God, we must be faithful to Him by living in truth and for the truth so that in the second life after physical death, we may acquire the fullness of life in the home of our Heavenly Father.