The 28th Friday in Ordinary Time
(Romans 4: 1-8, Luke 12: 1-7)
“Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows” (Lk. 12:7). I suggest that you ponder this phrase from today’s gospel throughout the day. We have reason to be confident because God treats us as the apple of his eye. God who is love loves us more than we could ever ask or imagine. Our response to such an offer of boundless love is to love him in return, with our whole heart, with our whole soul, and with all our might (CF. Deut. 6:5). Knowing that we are loved, and are nestled close to the heart of God, we have nothing to fear. Knowing that God is with us (CF. Mat. 28:20) we have no reason to panic or be anxious. When we look at the heavens, we are filled with wonder. When we look at the Cross, we are filled with awe.
Our thoughts are governed by what we look at, therefore, we should look at the cross often. How we think affects how we feel. Looking at the cross reminds us of Christ’s self-emptying love for us. Immersed in that unconditional love, we can begin to love others as we are loved. Without fear, without panic, we can extend loving kindness to all we meet, embracing their joys and hopes, their griefs and anxieties.
“Let us not be afraid to confess the Crucified. Let the Cross be a seal we make on our foreheads; over the bread we eat and the wine we drink. Let us talk about it when we sit at home and when we walk along the road. Let us sign ourselves with it when we lie down to sleep and when we get up. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor’s sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful and the dread of the demons; for with is Christ has triumphed over them, having made a shew of them openly. Let us embrace the cross of Christ for the honor of your Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns forever and ever” (St. Cyril of Jerusalem). Such thoughts give life. Such thoughts give hope. Such thoughts overcome fear. Such thoughts are the seedbed of love and respect for one another and the beginnings of lasting peace.