Don’t Be Afraid!

Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 21 June 2020
Jer. 20:10-13; Ps. 69:8-10,14,7,33-35; Rom. 5:12-15; Mat. 10:26-33

Today’s gospel is mainly about Jesus’ advice “Don’t be afraid!” (v. 26, 28 and 31). It took three times for Jesus to soothe His twelve disciples. From the start, those who are sent to proclaim the Gospel must be made aware of the danger and suffering, and also be convinced of Father’s care. Jesus wants them to stay realistic: Mission without antipathy and proclaiming without suffering is an illusion! However, from the beginning Jesus also gives assurance that the Good Father would always take good care of them. So: “don’t be afraid!”

In the context of the “Missionary Discourse” (Matthew 10), Jesus soothed His sent disciples. Why did He need to confirm it three times? First, because the message about the Gospel can not be silenced. The Gospel will be spread out. “Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear.” (v. 26). So, the “outcome” of the disciples’ mission is something that has been assured by Jesus. This is also a motivation that encourages the disciples to continue their preaching. What they have heard in secret and uncovered have to be proclaimed from housetops now. The housetop of the Jewish house is like the social media: where the people communicate with each other and establish relationships. This is the first invitation for you and me: our faith about Jesus should never be for personal consumption and asset only. The gospel must be spread out and proclaimed in different ways and means, tips, and formats.

Second, the disciples are also asked not to be afraid of facing the suffering in taking the mission. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body” (v. 28). Physical challenges and suffering will not stop the gospel preaching. The disciples need not be afraid of being martyred for the Good News. They only need to fear God, not human who can only kill the body. Eternal life after the life in this world entirely belongs to God’s domain and right. This is the second invitation for you and me: keep preaching the Good News. Threats can not stop us from proclaiming the gospel through our words and deeds. Suffering can not make us lose our courage in confessing Jesus and testifying His gospel (vv. 32-33).

Third, the most secured basic for not being afraid is the assurance of the care from our Father in heaven. Even a sparrow have got Father’s care, the followers of His Son will worth even more. Even every single hair of ours has got His care and protection (vv. 29-31). This caring assurance from the Father is the greatest motivation for all of us. This is the third invitation for you and me: preach about Jesus and the Gospel without fear, for we are children who are under the care and protection of Father. When the mission and Gospel preaching are challenged, Father’s care is always an assurance. Martyrdom is not an unfortunate and fruitless death, but it is a transfer to the hand and home of the Father who cares for our souls.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Taking the path of inner heart: May the suffering brothers and sisters be able to find a living path which can lead them to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We pray…

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For farmers: May the government and authorities have strong will to help and concern of the survival and welfare of the farmers. We pray…

Special Intention:
We join with the Blessed Heart of Jesus in order to sincerely and truly seek the justice for all our people. We pray… …

Amen

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