Today the Church celebrates the memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American to be declared Blessed. In the reading selection for today, Jesus reminds His Apostles not to fear those who can kill the body, but rather, to fear the One who can destroy both body and soul. And so that we His Apostles would not be intimidated by such instruction, He then speaks immediately to the great love God holds for each of us.
Are not two sparrow sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:24-33)
Isn’t it true how often we need to be reminded of this great love our God has for us? This is a constant challenge, to grow in our knowledge of the depths of this love, its perfection, its infinite nature, its purity and genuineness, and the fact that we can do nothing to earn this love.
Part of what prevents me from realizing this love and appropriately responding to this love :
I am too focused on myself, or too focused on how I want things to be, or how I would prefer things to work out. Also, because of my self-indulgences, I do not give the needed space to look beyond the superficial desires that I have to properly understand the deep yearning within me for God, and too often settle for superficial gratifications, rather than persevering in pursuit of the lasting truths of God, in Christ, and the heavenly kingdom.
Or, as is often the case, my own sinfulness can make me doubt that God could love me always, infinitely, unconditionally.
Of course, these are the things we are to be ‘wise’ about… Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. (Matthew 10:16) The demon has many deceits to keep us doubting God’s love; many deceptions to prevent our perseverance in responding to God’ love.
I’m curious how often in the Gospels Jesus tells us: Do not be afraid. Courage, your sins are forgiven. Persevere. So again today, we are encouraged to grow in the knowledge of God’s love. We are instructed to be courageous in living our faith. The Lord again today patiently directs our own perseverance.
Know that God is always with you. Know that God is always faithful. As you grow in the many ways God reveals these truths to you in the silence of your heart, and the hidden moments of your day, proclaim them in and through your life.
Therefore, do not be afraid…Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. (Matthew 10:26-27)
Even Hollywood occasionally gets the God story right. At the end of the movie, All The Pretty Horses, Lacey asks John: “Do you think God watches over us?” To which, John answers: “I guess He does…reckon He’s got to…we wouldn’t make it a day otherwise.”