Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 21, 2020 — Year A
Readings: Jer 20:10-13 / Ps 69 / Rom 5:12-15 / Mt 10:26-33
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
There is a very ancient story about a mouse who was terribly afraid of cats. A magician took pity on him and changed him into a cat. But then, he became so afraid of dogs, that the magician turned him into a dog. Then he became very afraid of mountain lions, so the magician turned him into a mountain lion. But then he became terribly afraid of hunters. At that point, the magician gave up and turned him back into a mouse and said, “There is really nothing I can do that will help you, because you have the heart of a mouse.”
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we began the celebration of the holy sacrifice of the Mass by blessing ourselves in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This reminds us of our baptism, the day we became sons and daughters of God. As God’s children, each and every one of us should have a brave heart, and not the heart of a mouse. Every single day, we should remind ourselves who we are, because if we are not conscious of our true identity then fear can easily overpower us.
The Lord God knows that, humans that we are, we forget. That is why the most repeated commandment that the Lord Jesus has given us in the sacred scriptures are the words we heard in today’s gospel when He said, “Do not be afraid.” He said these words, not just once, but three times in these eight short verses of the Gospel of Matthew.
But how can we not be afraid when we are in the middle of a pandemic and we have so many things to be worried about? Well, welcome to the world of the living. All of us are in the same boat. We all have our share of troubles, but God is always a good God. He didn’t promise us paradise on earth and a life that would be free of difficulties, but He promised that He would be with us always. With this in mind, like the prophet Jeremiah, we could also say, “The Lord God is with me like a mighty champion.” With God at our side, we have no reason to be afraid of anyone or anything.
Today, Father’s Day, as we honor our fathers and ask the Lord God to bless them, we also should remind ourselves, that God, the creator of heaven and earth, is our Father. Saint Paul, in his letter to the Romans, said, “Those of us who are led by the spirit of God, are children of God, for you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but the spirit of adoption to which we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
My dear brothers and sisters, as God’s children we surely don’t have the heart of a mouse. We have a heart of courage and strength that is designed to overcome all the challenges that may come our way.