28th Week in Ord. Time, Friday – 16th October 2020 — Gospel: Lk 12,1-7
Proclaim Boldly and Honestly
Jesus is aware of the mounting Jewish hostility he and his disciples will encounter. Like the prophets before them, they will face persecution and death. Therefore, he urges his disciples to be ready for martyrdom and not to fear those who can only kill their earthly bodies (Heb 2,15). Rather, in a threefold repetitive warning, Jesus counsels his disciples to fear God, the only one who has sovereign care of their lives after physical death. Fear God, who is able to give eternal death to those who are unfaithful to God’s word and eternal life to those who profess the truth. Fear of God is not terror, but rather a respectful reverence for the authority of God, who will judge all people and determine their final destiny. Pagan fear can only take away one’s physical life, but God has the power to throw men into hell. Jesus spoke of hell as a gruesome contrast to the gracious care that God offers to those he remembers forever. If God does not neglect even the sparrows, the cheapest item sold in the market, how much more he cares for those he has created in his own image. Every disciple is of greatest worth to God. Then, nothing will happen to them, even death, outside of God’s infinite knowledge, love and care. Since God has the keys of heaven and hell, death can only usher the disciple into God’s presence. Thus, the fear of man is overshadowed by God’s boundless love, which calls to proclaim the good news boldly and honestly.