Gospel Reflection
Malvern Minute

 

TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

JUNE 25, 2017

Alleluia, Alleluia.

The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord;

And you also will testify.

Alleluia, Alleluia.

 

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:Fear no one.

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 countedSo 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.”

The Gospel of the Lord

 

A REFLECTION by Monsignor Marino

The Gospel is a combination of good humor and serious warning. The humor consists in the fact that the Eternal Father has to be ever vigilant if he knows how many hairs remain on my head after this morning’s shower.  The serious note is: be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.  The Gospel warns: fear no one except the evil one and his ways of deception that lead not to peace and eternal happiness but to Gehenna.

The place of Gehenna and its meaning evolved over time among the Hebrew people.  It was a ravine south of the city of Jerusalem where idolatrous Jews offered their children to the false god, Molech (Jeremiah 7:31).  After time the place became a garbage dump for the city dwellers. It was there that dead animals and criminals along with trash of all sorts were thrown into a continual fire that consumed the refuse.  It is no wonder that the place and word became a vivid way to describe the abode of everlasting destruction.

Evil in all its forms leads to a trash dump, a mode of living that is disgusting and destructive.  The disciple must be ever vigilant, and in a continual mode of discernment of spirits.  Since everything a disciple thinks and does must be reflective of Jesus Christ, the disciple must scrutinize everything in light of the Gospel of Jesus.  Today’s culture offers many evils that masquerade as something good.  For example: athletics and social events are good for physical and emotional health which health is held in high esteem by today’s culture.  Who would fault anyone who is striving to be healthy in all ways?  Yet, how often is this used as an excuse to abstain from Sunday worship and daily prayer!  You get my point – we must scrutinize how we use our time, talents and treasure which are given to us by God! The choice is: Garbage and Gehenna, or treasure and heaven!

We are valued by our Heavenly Father more than anyone of us can imagine.  Jesus emphatically stresses this by his simple and yet profound example of the birds of the air: you are worth more than many sparrows.  With a Heavenly Father who has such incredible personal love and care for each of us, it is no wonder that Jesus exclaims: So do not be afraid!

It is this experience of the Father’s love that each of us must proclaim on the housetops.  We have come to the knowledge that God loves us, and in turn we grow in our desire to proclaim it for all to hear.  Our proclamation is our invitation for others to experience this Divine Encounter!  And, our proclamation and invitation is our reward: Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.

The truth of the matter is: God indeed loves the children that he has created, and desires for each of us peace and eternal happiness, and not the trash dump of Gehenna.

Encountering the Divine Physician, Jesus Christ

Healing of the Paralytic (Luke 5: 17-26)

Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat.  See our Web Site for details: MalvernRetreat.com

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