12th Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Sunday 25th June 2017)
To read the Gospel of the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, please click here
Do not be afraid – (Matthew 10:26-33)
Who can read this weekend’s Gospel and not think of the opening homily of the pontificate of Pope St. John Paul II. That was the challenge to the whole world, not to be afraid to let Jesus into all areas of life, social, political, cultural, sexual and personal. Of course at that time we were all thinking of his home country of Poland and the Soviet and Communists countries but as history unfolded we began to see his vision was not just for Eastern Europe but for the whole world and for each of us. He was particularly focused on young people and your issues and challenges.
If anything is clear now in 2017 it is that the challenge of the Gospel as preached by John Paul II is even more real today. In our own country religious freedom is becoming more restrictive and said to be a private matter which we must keep to ourselves. We are being told constantly that the Christian vision has no role in society, the church must be out of health care and education. Indeed the underlying message seems to be that religion, more so Christianity and most of all Catholicism is detrimental to personal growth. Pope Benedict XVI called this a dictatorship. So now you and I need to be more aware of the new situation and not to be afraid to let Christ ever more deeply into our lives.
What is there to be afraid of…. Jesus? In this weekend ‘ s Gospel passage we are told that we are precious to God. We are reassured that God knows us so deeply that he knows the number of hairs on your head, each of us are worth more than hundreds of sparrows. We are loved and understood. Only Christ and his church can reassure us of this truth. The fundamentalist secular ideology has nothing like this truth, so do not let it rob you of the truth of the Gospel.
Allow the Lord Jesus ever more deeply into your heart, accept the truth that God knows you deeply, understands your journey – you are not alone or isolated. Keep telling yourself this truth and tell you friends. They too need to meet Jesus, they too need to understand that they are loved.
Fr. John Harris O.P.
To view previous Gospel Reflections, please click here!