After so many Feasts, we return to Ordinary Time. The first words of the Gospel for this Sunday are an Instruction from the Teacher to His disciples. 'Do not be afraid'. Funnily enough, this instruction is to be found in Sacred Scripture, exactly 365 times! One for every day of the year! (Except a leap year lol)
We must choose to be intentional disciples of Jesus or not. Do you know if you have done this yet? Check to make sure that you have really chosen to follow Him.
If our answer is yes, we must take into account that He does not offer a soft option. Persecution and suffering are as sure to follow the disciple as it did the Master. But, as St Paul reminded Timothy, the Word of the Lord cannot be sent to prison! (2 Tim 2,9). There will always be some who want to silence true disciples. 'They' want the words and deeds of Jesus to be stopped. But this will never happen. Sin may slow down Gods activity but it can never crush it.
Intentional disciples must carry this reassurance with them and deepen it in their hearts. We will have to face those who want to silence us. We might become objects of scorn, or gossip. We may lose our status, we might be laughed at or taken for fools. We might risk losing everything. All these things might make us afraid, but, as we overcome our fear, we will transform darkness into light, silence into sound, death into life.
But here's the thing. When Our Lord instructed his disciples to move without fear into the open with what they knew, he wasn't sending them out with information, facts and figures. He gave them a new identity as daughters and sons of their Father in Heaven. Children of God with hearts on Fire. What they have received, they must share with others. The future of humanity and of the earth depend on their passion and faithfulness.
Every intentional disciple of Jesus is blessed with and burdened with the truth He has revealed. If we choose Jesus, he unseats our souls, and makes us stand on housetops to share what we have received. The fire in our hearts will warm people in different ways. Intentional disciples love God more than the suffering they fear. We finally understand Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. He wants the cup to pass. He has no love affair with suffering. But his desire to unleash the power of love and reconciliation in the world means He has to go on. The Beloved Son of God cannot be silent in the face of persecution. What He has heard as Beloved Son of God must be told to every daughter and son. The more He prays, the more he realises what must be done, the more fear falls from Him, like drops of blood, watering the earth.
The Beloved Son of God makes His decision and asks us to do the same. What will we do?
Many are called, but most are frozen in corporate or collective cold.
These are the stalled who choose not to be chosen,
Except to be bought,
Except to be sold