Just a word… Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time…

Just a word… Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time… June 21, 2020

Are you ever afraid? Most people (including me) are reluctant to admit out loud that they are…but I will admit that I am afraid at times, usually of things that will never happen, or if they did happen, I would manage to survive…like, what if I get stung by a bee while taking a walk? What if that pesky (but cute) bunny nibbles on my new core- opsis plant? What if Isabelle et Vincent run out of chocolate croissants??? There’s nothing earth-shattering about these fears, in fact, each would easily be resolved by such things as being careful where I walk, sprinkling red pepper around the coreopsis, and settling for a baguette at the bakery…small sacrifice, right?

But what about those very real fears that come in the middle of the night…about that little pain that won’t go away and you haven’t seen the doctor yet? What about be- ing able to make that mortgage payment when you are suddenly out of work? And then there’s the worry over a family member’s struggle with addiction or depression…the list goes on.

Jesus, in Matthew’s Gospel today, is telling his followers (us) to take a deep breath and get ready. There will be tough times ahead, for us all, but fear is useless. Fear paralyzes us, blocks peace and healing as well as the strength and gifts we will need to persevere. Jesus tells us to fear no one…do not be afraid. Okay, Lord…got it. How exactly does that work? How do we remember that when we are faced with a ca- lamity? That’s when Jesus, master of the metaphor, gives us an image to hang onto, to help us remember his words when we really need them. He gives us the image of a bird…a tiny sparrow, the smallest, most numerous, cheapest bird in the marketplace of Palestine. Jesus tells his followers that God’s care extends even to these sparrows, that one never falls from the sky without God being aware of it. Interestingly, the Greek word for “fall from the sky” means “to land on the ground.” If the flight pattern of a sparrow is in God’s care, how much more so are we, who are God’s daughters and sons?

This simple but powerful message is one to remember whenever fear or worry push us to the ground. We matter to God; sparrows and disciples alike, God is watching out for us. In God’s sight, there are no unimportant lives. Do not be afraid…

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