Returning to Ordinary Time
After 16 weeks we finally return to Ordinary Time. These past weeks have been anything but ordinary: Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and surrounding feasts. In the coming weeks we will hear from the Gospel of Matthew. His central theme is the Kingdom of God.
Ordinary Time is a time of living and growing in our faith. Matthew’s gospel is known as the “church’s gospel”. Here we get the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew writes of Jesus giving the keys of the kingdom to Peter, telling him, “upon this rock I will build my church.” The church has its foundation and it is up to us to do the rest. This is where we are called to into discipleship.
The Gospel for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mt. 10:26-33) comes after Jesus chooses the twelve who would carry out his mission. He taught them and they watched their master work. Jesus sent them out after giving some basic instructions and warnings. The mission ahead would not be easy, but “fear no one” he told them. Fearlessness should be the mark of discipleship. Fearless is how Jesus went through his ministry. Fearlessness is what gave him courage when faced with threats and violence. Fearlessness accompanied him all the way to his death. We probably won’t be called to make the same sacrifice as Jesus or his disciples, but it does happen in some parts of the world. Being a Christian no longer requires the same cross bearing as first century Christians.
As First World Christians nobody is threatening our lives but that doesn’t make it any easier. We still have our fears and apprehensions. If we can turn our fearlessness into the ministry of helping people in need, then we are making this the world that God has called us to make: his Kingdom where there is a place for everyone.