Such a numerous crowd had gathered that they crushed one another. Then Jesus spoke to his disciples in this way, «Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered that will not be uncovered, or hidden that will not be made known. Whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places, will be proclaimed from the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who put to death the body and after that can do no more. But I will tell you whom to fear: Fear the One who after killing you is able to throw you into hell. This one you must fear. Don't you get five sparrows for two pennies? Yet not one of them has been forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have been numbered. So do not fear: are you not worth more than a flock of sparrows?».
Today we the claretians in the world are overfilled with joy, because 109 of our brothers are to be beatified tomorrow in Barcelone. Their faith gave them the strength to shed their blood to have a beautiful encounter with Christ and be graced to participate in His Cross by their own blood. Their faith was not an outside show, it was an internal thirst and joy, which the world could never take it away. It is because of their love and confidence in the goodness of God and in His protection that their faith got nourished and protected.
Jesus is asking each and every one us to be sincere with our own identity and live it in its fullness. Since our Lord is good and merciful, we can always put our trust in Him, and the martyrs had this deep faith. Let us not have fear to stand up for the gospel values and live it in joy.
Only if our inner self is coherent with the external self, this peace and joy is possible. The paradox of life truth is that we should be connected internally to be connected externally. We should feel that we are always in front of the Lord, be ready to present ourselves, without any fear, as we are. There, the Lord will take us in His grace and will transform us.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Comfort for those who doubt God's providence in Christ, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)
"To bestow yet another means of comfort on our minds, he forcibly added that five sparrows are scarcely perhaps worth a penny, and yet God does not forget even one of them. He also said that the separate hairs of your head are all numbered. Consider how great care he takes of those that love him. The Preserver of the universe extends his aid to things so worthless and descends to the smallest animals. How can he forget those who love him, especially when he takes so great care of them? He condescends to visit them, to know exactly each particular of their state, and even how many are the hairs of their heads... Let us not doubt that with a rich hand he will give his grace to those who love him. He will not permit us to fall into temptation. If, by his wise purpose he permits us to be taken in the snare in order that we may gain glory by suffering, he will most assuredly grant us the power to bear it." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 87)
«So do not fear: are you not worth more than a flock of sparrows?»
Fr. Salomon BADATANA
(Wau, South Sudan)
Today, we contemplate in the Gospel our Lord Jesus Christ who turns to the crowds after confronting the Jewish religious authorities who are the Pharisees and the scribes. The Gospel tells us that the crowd was so big that they crushed one another. It is clear here that they were hangry to hear the words of Jesus who spoke with an extraordinary authority to their religious leaders.
But St. Luke informs us that before anything else, Jesus begun speaking to his own disciples saying: «Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy» (Lk 12:1). Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to lead us to practice sincerity and transparency rather than hypocrisy as the Pharisees and the scribes do. For they show an external attitude which is not conform to their interior way of life: they pretend to be who they are not.
It is against this that our Lord Jesus Christ warns us in today’s Gospel when he says: «Nothing is covered that will not be uncovered, or hidden that will not be made known» (Lk 12:2). Yes, everything will be revealed. This is why we ought to try to accord our life with what we profess and proclaim. This is obviously not easy. But we don’t have to be afraid for our God is in control. As St. John Paul II said «God’s love doesn’t impose burdens upon us that we cannot carry… For whatever He asks of us, He provides the help that is needed.” Nothing happens that He is not aware of. Even our hairs have been numbered. Yes we have a price before God. Let’s not be afraid because His love for us is endless.
Lord, grant us the wisdom to well match our life to the exigencies of our faith, even amidst the tumults of this world. Amen.