Matthew 10: 26-33

“Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.

 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

Forget About Yourself

“What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?

Reflection

We’re a bit short on good news lately. Around the world and close to home, there are bad things happening to good people, and it’s only human to worry and get scared. When we’re afraid, we might get angry and lash out at the people who are hurting us, or those we think have caused our problems; or we might become too scared to speak out, so we say nothing, or we go along with the crowd. We might become so scared by bullies that we can’t even ask for help, or we might stand by while they bully other people because we’re too scared to speak out.

 

Jesus stood up against wrong, and taught us to do the same,  but he also felt fear, and prayed for his Father's help in the Garden of Gethsemane. He understands that we need strength and courage in bad times. In this Gospel passage, Jesus tells us how precious we are to God, and reminds us that the thing that’s really important is our soul, our eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven - and that God has got that under control.

 

Even if we can’t always see it and we don’t understand it, he’s looking after us; he cares about each of us so much, he even knows the number of the hairs on our head. One day, everything will become clear, but in the meantime, if we trust in him, if we have faith in the eternal future we have been promised, we’ll have the courage to follow Jesus and stand up for what we know is right: to speak out against bullies; to stop fear keeping us silent. We will have the confidence to control the anger fear can give us, and to turn that energy into positive, Christian ways of dealing with problems.

 

By speaking out, by living our lives as he taught us, even when that’s hard, we stand up for Jesus too. By standing together, we’re standing for Jesus, and he’s standing right next to us.

Clare Lewis

Salesian Communications Worker

Prayer

Dear Jesus

When we feel scared, help us to feel

God’s presence in our lives.

Help us to see God in the people around us.

Remind us of the good there is

in ourselves, in others and in our world.

When we see injustice

give us the courage to speak out.

Turn our fearful anger

into a passion for doing good.

Let us have no fear in standing up for you,

as you have always stood up for us.

Amen