32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Those who are afraid to die are not fit to live.”
The idea of death is the common and greatest fear of man. And when we live in fear, we do not live righteously and properly. Jesus’ final instruction to His disciples to “Go into the world, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20) – requires a lot of work! The thought of this alone can weaken and make us weary and afraid to even start. However, He promised also that when we obey and do the mission He wants us to do, He is always with us, and therefore, we should not be afraid.
It is always a risk to obey and follow Christ. But if we are not going to work and do what Jesus wanted us to do, we will not grow as a people and bear fruits in our lives. Doing missionary work does not guarantee our good health. It cannot give assurance that we will not get hurt, get tired, or get disappointed. It does not give us the security to be exempted from rejections and facing adversities in life but we have hope in His promise that He will be with us who follow the mission.
The resurrection of Christ gives us hope. This hope gives us the boldness and courage to go out on a mission. We are not afraid to die in the mission because we put our hope and confidence in the resurrection of Jesus and we should live this every day of our lives. We should not think that resurrection is an Easter week celebration only. It must be engraved in our minds, every day so that we will not fear death. When we focus our thoughts on the resurrection of Christ, it gives us so much hope, that no matter how hard we labor for the works of God, we are encouraged to press on, knowing that all things will turn out for our good in the future.
As Primate Alcaraz said, “I do not know what the future holds for me, but I’m not afraid because I know the One who holds my future”. The rising of Jesus from the dead gives us hope for a life after. There is no reason to worry about the future. Our confidence must be in Christ Who promised us a future that we hope for.
As we enter the celebration of Christ the King, Father Jun encourages us to declare in our lives that Jesus is the King and He is the Lord of our life! We will celebrate with joy and proclaim that only Christ has the say in our life! We will rule out the fear of death for Jesus has already erased sin and death when He died on the cross!
Job, in the midst of his suffering, has already seen the coming of the Redeemer. He never fears dying for he believes that someone is going to save him and he will see him face to face someday. We who have been born after Christ’s death should keep fresh in our mind the resurrection of Christ for by hoping, we can have the strength and the courage to fulfill our mission as a church. The Body of Christ is a mission community. We should not allow the world to minimize us, dictate to us, or intimidate us into doing what God wanted us to be. The power of heaven is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. We should not be afraid and therefore, let us be who God wants us to be.
MERCY DE LA CRUZ-ESPIRITU
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