TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
JEREMIAH 20:10-13 ROMANS 5:12-15 MATTHEW 10: 26-33
What do I have to Fear? What do you have to Fear?
Do you remember being afraid of something or someone as a child? How about as a teenager, were you ever really frightened? Terrified? How did you move through that feeling of fear?
I recall as a child about 10 years old laying down with my head back at the top of a dam so my mother could wash my hair. I remember being initially frightened, but calming down as my mother kept saying, “you won’t fall over; I won’t drop you.”
At the age of 11, I remember feeling terrified. We were in the country. It was pitch dark and time to go inside our bungalow when we realized my 4-year-old sister was missing. Everyone scattered with flashlights to look for her, including in the small pond nearby. After what seemed an eternity, we found her asleep in the hammock.
And as a young teenager, I remember leading hikes through the woods and walking into a copperhead snake on the trail. I told everyone to turn and run while I threw a stick at the snake and ran!
The last example happened the same summer when our youth group hiked to the West Point shooting practice area. We would go there after the firing stopped to collect bullet shells. Only this time, shots rang out, and we all ran for our lives, literally.
Fear is defined as an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined. Let me repeat that.
Fear is defined as an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.
We are confronted every day with the challenge of living with Covid-19, a virus for which we have no vaccine. We are struggling every day with incidents of police brutality and racial injustice. Whether we are in lockdown or trying to open up into society, our minds, hearts, and souls are being battered, feeling anxious, and fearful.
Our faith calls us to other places. Our minds search for words of wisdom. Our hearts seek a refreshing space. Our souls yearn for oneness with our God.
The Gospel today comforts us with the words:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without God’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Sr. Ellenrita Purcaro, OP