Whom to Fear
Today’s Gospel passage is followed by the Commissioning of 12 Apostles. Jesus very much aware of the fierce and deadly persecution his disciples would have to suffer, warns them to face the trials with courage and hope, when they come. In this passage Jesus emphasis on the phrase “Do not be afraid” and this phrase is thrice repeated in this passage. 3 times for 3 circumstances in the life of a missionary.
- Whenever disciples speak about salvation and help people repent of their sin and help bring change in their hearts and minds, the disciples have to suffer like a mother in labour pain bringing new life to the world. Jesus encourages them saying “ do not be afraid” be happy as you are blessed and are partaking in His passion. If their Master was subjected to the worst kind of persecution, then they, his servants too will be persecuted more than Him. No servant is greater than a master and everyone should strive to be like the master.
- Whenever disciples speak on truth and teach the value of Christ on topics like love, mercy, kindness, fasting, prayer and penance, they will have to under go trials on account of their words, because the listeners will think their new teaching is against what the community at large thinks to be right and wrong. Jesus here comforts by saying “Do not be afraid” of the persons in authority who can physical kill the body but cannot kill the human soul.
- Whether on a Missionary Journey or in life, Jesus stresses “Do not be afraid” for the basic necessities of life, the Heavenly Father is aware of his servants’ needs and wants, and will accordingly provide for them in perfect and appropriate time. So not be afraid about your life as God is in complete control of it.
A call for mission is not an easy task, it requires commitment, sacrifice, selflessness, perseverance, prayer, patience, obedience, faithfulness, fear of God and trust in God, so that one can sustain in the call. In the present situation, Fr. Stan Swamy stands as an example for us. He was chosen by God to work with the tribals. He was committed and selfless to his call till the end of his life. He persevered in his quest to bring a bright future or salvation for the tribals. He courageously fought for them, putting his trust in God and fearing no one. He obeyed his conscience and stood with the tribal people, to help bring justice for them. Even though he was surrounded by persecutors, he never gave up his ambition and fought for their justice. This courage and boldness he received from his master Jesus Christ and he lived among us like another Christ
Yes friends, we all are called to live like another Christ. Let’s courageously raise our voices against injustice in society and build God’s Kingdom on earth.