Friday, 10 July 2020

CatholicIreland.net Features

 

Search website


There is no need to be afraid - Matthew 10 PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 12    21 June 2020

There is no need to be afraid. Matthew 10

‘It could be you’ is a promise of financial reward if we take the risk and buy the right lottery ticket.  Jesus says that ‘it could be you’ who gets a spiritual reward if you accept his help, overcome fear and work for justice.

 

In the gospel Jesus tells us three times not to be afraid. The first fear is that good deeds are not recognised. Christians may feel they might as well have lived a hidden life in the darkness for all the thanks they get. People are inclined to remember the worst and our good deeds are interred with our bones. Making the effort does not seem worthwhile. In response Jesus assures us that he sees and that his heavenly Father is watching. We may not get immediate appreciation but every unselfish act has eternal value. Therefore it’s right and just to give God thanks for life and use every chance we get to build up God’s kingdom of love, justice and peace.

The second fear is that we can do nothing about war and injustice. Bishop Matthew Kukah from Nigeria recently appealed for international help because there is so much violence and hatred in his country. The West continues to supply arms and weapons to the oppressors. He asks us to supply support for the peacemakers and food for the starving and opportunities for groups to reconcile with each other. Today’s gospel insists that God has the last say over body and soul. There will be a final judgement which nobody can escape. Therefore choose to be on the side of those who help and heal. We ourselves have an opportunity to contribute to priests, religious and lay people actually on the missions; they help those on the ground to help themselves, making practical life-giving choices now, introducing many to the Author of eternal life.

We should not be afraid of death or the threat of death. This is what St Teresa of Calcutta said, “Anyone is capable of going to heaven.  Heaven is our home.  People ask me about death and whether I look forward to it and I answer, ‘Of course’, because I am going home.  Dying is not the end, it is just the beginning.  When we die we are going to be with God and with all those we have known who have gone before us: our family and our friends will be there waiting for us.  Heaven must be a beautiful place. But remember that people die suddenly all the time so it could happen to us too at any moment.  It could be you who are called, so be ready. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet come, so we must live each day as if it were our last, so that when God calls we are ready and prepared. Then we will die with a clean heart after being a positive influence on those we meet”.

With this good advice from the Lord himself and from a great modern saint why would we be afraid? Leave the last word to St Paul. He says we are made to know love and serve God.  Yet we do the wrong thing due to original sin which is the flaw in nature that means we are unable by ourselves to do what is right.  We need help and should appreciate guidance from Jesus before we make any big choice. It is possible to follow selfish ways which end in sin and death. It is lifegiving to admit we need help and accept guidance and direction from Christ on the way to grace and life. We can be successful through Christ, through his sacraments, in his community.  It could be you who lives in grace, in truth and in peace.

 
© All material on this website is copyright of Ballymena Parish
Designed and developed by GetOnline