12th Sunday in Ordinary Time A20
How difficult is it for you being a disciple? If you answered “Not too much”, you really are not trying.
We live in a world where money and power are signs of success, a world of competition where there are winners and everyone else is (to quote a resident of Washington, D.C.) “a loser”. It’s a world where some races and cultures are 2nd class, kept that way by those in power and privilege as we’ve experienced by the protests that have roiled our society and world these past weeks. This is a world that needs to hear the call for conversion but is either deaf to that call or willfully ignores it and belittles, or worse, those who proclaim it in word and deed.
We who desire to be a disciple and who want to follow Jesus may meet hostility in those around us as Jesus did. Because of the reality of sin in the world, there would be those who would resist his message and seek to silence both him and those he would send to proclaim it. Like the prophets before them, Jesus and his own would be made to suffer for their commitment. Jesus knew the fear and the reality of rejection and the threat of bodily harm even in his hometown and among his family members who thought him crazy. Jesus knew the fear of death, breaking out in a sweat that was like blood in the Garden the night before he died.
But he overcame fear by facing it and by reminding himself and his followers of God’s careful, loving presence, echoing Jeremiah’s words that “The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion.” God is well aware of our fear and watches over us with vigilance at every moment. All is known to God. God cares for us more than the sparrows. Even all the hairs of our head are counted! With that bedrock assurance, Jesus encourages his followers not to nurse their fears, thus making them grow. Faith should make fear manageable even if it does not get rid of it entirely.
Only one thing should we fear, not fear itself, but not being a disciple, being afraid to imitate Jesus who reached out to the despised, the poor, the marginalized, and those who were considered “losers” of his time.
“Fear no one.”
 Jer. 20:11
 Mt. 10:26