Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Do not be afraid

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. Mt 10,27-31

The real malediction of the man is the fear. We are afraid of the dark, of a sudden shout, of a telegram which reaches us, of a contract for our job which expires, of our bank account which goes down, of every uncertainty of the life. Today we are even afraid to marry and to generate the sons. The mass media do not lose any occasion to originate alarms: the fluctuation of the financial Stock Exchange, the progress which we are not able to control, the economy which is suffering, the job opportunities which are lowered down, the energy reserves which becomes close to be worked out. Everything, including the happy events, is capable to generate a sense of indeterminateness and fear. Some years ago, when I was working with Ansaldo, one of my collaborators became father of a baby. During the entire day, in the office, he was assaulted by negative thoughts: he will wake up during the night, we will not  go out anymore in the evening, we will be forbidden to have our holidays in the camping. By the end of the day, having already fourteen sons, to make him understanding the unreasonableness of his fears, I said to him: “ Do not worry, give me this your son and do not talk about anymore”. He looked at me being puzzled and he became aware that his dreads were a non sense.

By  someday Jesus, when he spoke  about the lilies of the fields and of the birds of the sky, who do not spin and do not reap, however the heavenly Father nourishes them, brought to the light these our anguishes: “What are we going to eat?”, “What are we going to drink?”, “By what are we going to be dressed?”.In another moment he assures us: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world! (Jn 16,33).  If we want to know what is the source of the fear, the answer is: it comes from the sin. In the Bible it appears immediately after the original sin: “When they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord  God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God then called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!” (Gen 3,8-11). After that event far away in the time, the Holy Scriptures continuously exhort the man not to have fear. The exhortation to this purpose is repeated in the Bible 365 times: one for each day of the year. Pope John Paul repeated it for twenty-six years. But we are not sure that the mankind understood it.

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