In the Bible, the phrase “Do not be afraid” is God’s way of assuring us of divine protection every single day of the entire year.
The same assurance Jesus gives to the Apostles as he sends them on their first missionary journey. Here Jesus says “Do not be afraid” to the Apostles three times. As disciples of Jesus, they can expect no less than suffer the fate of their Master. Despite his pure intentions and the good results of his ministry, Jesus is branded by his opponents to be Beelzebul (lord of the flies). As students and servants of the Lord, the Apostles must be courageous to face such insult.
The scurrilous attacks on the Apostles should not cause them to panic or to be silent. Instead, Jesus prods them to be even more courageous. The courage that comes from faith in Jesus should be enough to even lay down their lives for the sake of the gospel.
Gospel • Mt 10:24-33
Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them. 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. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows 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. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.