Bear witness to the Gospel without fear!

Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia, alleluia. The Spirit of truth will bear witness to me, says the Lord, you bear witness. Alleluia.

From the Gospel according to Matthew (Mt 10, 26-33)
“Jesus said to his disciples: «So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.“

Fear not! It is the key word, repeated three times: faith demands, as a basic requisite, not to fear. We are called, in fact, to the courageous profession of faith in Christ, eager to sacrifice our life because we totally trust in the Providence of the Father. What is now hidden is not reserved to a few but kept waiting to be manifested: every word of God requires us to pass through the thread of our history to bring, in his time, abundant fruit. Jesus speaks secretly, we speak in full light. God speaks; we listen and become a sign to others. The darkness of listening and assimilating precedes the dawn of every announcement. And when from the roofs you will hear the Good News, men will be compelled to look upwards. A treasure of glory encloses each listening: it is a time of waiting that prepares the birth of light.
You may be afraid of those who can affect what is not fully human, but stopping earthly life is not equivalent to die. Whatever happens, God is with us. This is a conviction that allows us to navigate among the more devastating storms, because nobody can snatch the elect from the hands of God.
Two sparrows, a penny: a minimal value; nevertheless they, too, are in the mind of the Father. This attentive care fascinates and consoles … The value is not given to things by their grandeur or power, but every inhabited space that houses the imprint of the Creator is a place of encounter with Him, a witness to his care, which goes so far as to count the hair of our head. The protection of the heavenly Father will never lack to the disciples of Jesus. The Mystery that embraces everything cannot be less real to those who have chosen to follow his Son, leaving their human certainties. God is in favor of man, not against him and if it he keeps silent it is not for carelessness, but because his thoughts on us have broader perspectives.
“Whoever acknowledges me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven.” Christ is the familiar face to be recognized amidst the crowd as Teacher and Lord of our lives and it is this acknowledgment that allows him to face others. What fear can hold us if we think that he will acknowledge us before the Father in Heaven?
“The one who disowns me before men, him will I also deny before my Father who is in heaven.” Christ will not be able to recognize as his own those who have chosen everything but him: it is not a vindictive statement but one that is born from an existential encounter, a speech of fidelity and respect of human freedom. The Gospel requires affiliation.

With Nazarene eyes
Remember that in the humble house of Nazareth you will discover the wisdom that will guide you in life. In the difficulties, do not abandon the company of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Contemplate them, in this family that is also yours; love them and put your trust in them. Allow yourself to be imbued by their deep humility, their simplicity, their abandonment to the plan of God, their charity. (Constitutions – Prologue)
The experience of prayer of Bro. Gabriel, is also marked by the mystery of Nazareth and inspires our life of prayer. Deeply a layman, Bro. Gabriel lives an “open secularity”, i.e., with the profound consciousness of a radical dependence on God. In his life, he expressed vigorously his trust in divine Providence. (Handbook of spirituality 3.4.1)
“If in his designs the Providence would like to try us with misfortune, slander or persecution not deserved, we should not be afraid, because God knows how to protect those who do their duty of good religious and grants them the graces they need to withstand the tests he wants to submit them. It is thus that he acted with the martyrs and those who professed their faith.” (Bro. Gabriel Taborin, Circular n. 17 – 1 January 1861)

Let us pray
In your great goodness, hear me, O God (Ps69

In Nazareth
Jesus accepted to be involved in circumstances of apparent abandonment by God: Gethsemane, cross … Anguish of Joseph when his family is in danger of death. Anguish of Mary on the path to Golgotha. But in none of the three failed that trust in God they cultivated in Nazareth day after day. And if on one side it will always be outrageous to see innocent endure so much suffering, faith of J.M.J. in Nazareth shows us that between Nazareth and Golgotha the story does not end on the cross and even in the tomb, but in the resurrection. (Fr. Lino Da Campo)

Jesus asked us to persevere in faith, even when faced with the difficulties of life. We ask the Father to support us because without his help we cannot be consistent with the Creed we profess. Good Father, who read the secret of our hearts, give us the courage of a sincere faith.