Homily for the twelfth Sunday of the year
Year A - Mt. 10:26-33


by

Father Daniel Meynen
 
 

"Jesus said to his disciples: «So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.


" «And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.


" «So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.» "





Homily:


"Jesus said to his disciples: «So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.» "


What is it to "be a Christian"? What do we mean by that? It is very simple: to be a Christian - today as yesterday, in Christ's time just as at the beginning of the twenty-first century - is to be at the service of the Word of God, it is to repeat to the world everything that the Word of God has told us. For what the Word of God says to us is absolutely necessary for our eternal salvation! The entire world must hear, through us, Jesus' own words, which are words of Salvation, the only words that save man!


This truth remains true always: no one is saved alone, no one is damned alone. If we want to go to Heaven and avoid hell, then there is but one solution: to evangelize all those who are there, around us, on our path! Proclaiming the Good News of Salvation in Jesus Christ, with all its requirements, such as the practice of the virtues, daily prayer, the frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and of the Eucharist: this is the task of every Christian, this is the work to be accomplished by he who wants to enter into the Kingdom of God!


To be saved, it is not enough to be baptized. With the help of the grace of God, we must also believe in the power, the strength, the energy that is in the Baptism we have received: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." (Mk. 16:16) Through this faith, made strong and powerful in the Holy Spirit, we will be other Christs, capable of announcing the word of God to the entire universe! If we truly believe in God, then we will be capable of repeating in the light of day all that the Lord has told us in the obscurity of our heart: "What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light."


" «And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father's will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.» "


When hope joins faith, when the spirit of man desires nothing other than the vision of God, forever and ever, even if this vision must begin here on earth in faith, then from this faith and hope is born trust, a tender and filial trust that leads the soul to abandon itself in all things to the Divine Providence, the Glance of God upon the world, a Glance full of loving foresight, infinitely attentive to all the needs of the men and women of the entire world... "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore."


However, this trust in the Providence of God must be tempered with prudence... We know the saying well: God helps those who help themselves. We must first do all that we humanly can, and then entrust all the rest to the Providence of God. If we do nothing by ourselves, then God will do nothing, or almost nothing, for us. The Christian must therefore beware the snares of the Enemy, Satan, he "who can destroy both soul and body in hell." No one should blindly place their trust in just anyone at all. Prudence! Prudence! Always prudence!


But, above all, let us not forget to also have trust in ourselves! With prudence, certainly: neither too much confidence in ourself, nor too little... Let us remember what Saint Paul said: "Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it." (1 Cor. 9:24) Thus, the Great Apostle to the Nations compares the spiritual battle for Salvation with the struggle of men in the stadium. The reason for this, among others, is to invite us to always have confidence in ourselves, that human virtue that all athletes must practice if they do not want to go down in defeat...


" «So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.» "


This is the prize of the battle for Salvation: "I will acknowledge him before my Father who is in heaven." If, during our life on earth, we serve the Lord in proclaiming his Word to the entire world, then, in Heaven, Jesus will become our mediator and our advocate before the Father! Then, we will no longer be servants, but rather friends: "You are my friends if you do what I command you." (Jn. 15:14) What an honor! What glory for he who fights the good fight, "the good fight of the faith" (1 Tim. 6:12)!


Let us look towards Mary! She has always had a pure, intact, perfect, unshakeable faith in the Word of God! Her entire life on earth was a model of the apostolate, an apostolate that was almost always silent, an apostolate of unique presence in the world in which she lived! It sufficed for Mary to be there, present, for her mission to be accomplished, as her cousin Elizabeth testified in the following words: "Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? ... Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord!" (Lk. 1:43-45)




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