In today’s reading from Matthew, we read, “Do not
be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.” I think
that many of us become fearful in these days of war, violence
and man’s inhumanity to man. Often we are saddened by the
reports of genocide, famine, and the trafficking of humans, in
particular, the trafficking of innocent women and children.
Today’s gospel gives us an image of hope. Jesus speaks of
the sparrow which is a small insignificant bird that was common
at the time of his preaching. Jesus tells us that not one of these
small creatures falls from the sky without the care and concern
of God. And then Jesus consoles us with the statement that we
are worth more than many sparrows Should we not trust and hope
in such a caring and compassionate God?
Today’s world is full of the tension between good and evil.
Sometimes we can become depressed in hearing and reading of the
supposed triumph of evil. Our newspapers scream headlines of murder,
destruction and theft. We ask one another if there is no good
news, if love and concern for the other has taken a holiday. Our
frustration and confusion is understandable. But then, if God
cares about the sparrow, surely God cares about us and our struggles
to follow his commandment of love. We must trust that God is in
our midst and that he, through the sacrifice of his son, allows
us to place our fears and frustrations in his hands.
St. Paul, in today’s reading from Romans 5, points out that
Adam is the image of sinful humankind. Christ, on the other hand,
is the image of redeemed humankind The good news is that we, through
our baptismal covenant with God, are heirs to this saving work
of Jesus. We can not remain in our state of depression and frustration
if we truly believe that we have been redeemed by Christ. The
struggle within us and within the world between good and evil
will remain. But through the saving work of Jesus, we are free
to chose the good and reject the evil.
We are free to let the Spirit into our lives and have trust in
God to follow the Spirit wherever she will lead.
It is important to remember that for us Christians God is not
a faraway deity. He is present in us, in our neighbors and in
our faith community. A sensitive and caring God will not let the
chaos of this world overwhelm us. We need to realize that the
center of our lives is not “me” but God. We are the
stewards of God’s creation. God is the creator. No challenge
can defeat us if we trust in God. Even death, which we all must
endure, is not a defeat but a victorious passage to a new life.
The little sparrow, which we can hold in our hand, is cared for
and tenderly loved by God. We who are made in God’s image
are surely loved by this compassionate and tender God who has
proved his love for us by the death, resurrection and ascension
of his son. So, be not afraid. God is with us in all things. Let
your hearts be calm, take his hand and walk in peace.