October 14, 2016

Gospel  LK 12:1-7

At that time:

So many people were crowding together 

that they were trampling one another underfoot.

Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,

“Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,

nor secret that will not be known.

Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness

will be heard in the light,

and what you have whispered behind closed doors

will be proclaimed on the housetops.

I tell you, my friends,

do not be afraid of those who kill the body

but after that can do no more.

I shall show you whom to fear.

Be afraid of the one who after killing

has the power to cast into Gehenna;

yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.

Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?

Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.

Do not be afraid.

You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Reflection:

Jesus began to speak first, to his disciples, 

Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

There is nothing more repugnant to God than hypocrisy. 

Jesus cautions His disciples (and us) to beware of the “leaven”, the influence of the Pharisees. The Pharisees preached about the laws of God, but they did not live what they preached. They went to great lengths to appear pious, but their piety was insincere, meant to impress man, without regard for God who sees  all. 

God would rather contend with an honest sinner than a phony saint.

“I tell you, my friends,

do not be afraid of those who kill the body

but after that can do no more.”

Jesus teaches His followers not to fear man. For although man may kill one’s body, man has no ability to kill one’s soul. 

We should fear no one but God who created us, for He has the ability to kill both body and soul.

Although we may have a healthy “fear” of the power of God, we can still live without fear, confident that God loves us as we love our own children. 

 Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?

Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.

Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.

Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Each one of us is made in God’s image, and we are as precious to Him as our own children are to us. 

Just as a mother counts the fingers and toes of her newborn child, God counts every hair on the head of each child He creates. 

 “See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”   – – Isaiah 49:16