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OCTOBER 15. Ord Time B. Wk 28. Fri. Lk 12. 1-7

The people had gathered in their thousands so that they were treading on one another. And Jesus began to speak, first of all to his disciples. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – that is, their hypocrisy. Everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed on the housetops.


‘To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.’


In the readings over recent days Jesus spent a good deal of time being critical of the Pharisees and scribes but now we find he is moving on in another direction; - the provision of directions to his disciples; - “And Jesus began to speak, first of all to his disciples……”


And we find his very first advice to them is to beware of the thinking of the community leaders of the day; - the Pharisees and scribes; - “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees – that is, their hypocrisy,” – advice easily applied to modern government “leaders!”


He goes on to point out everything we do or say, be it good or evil, will be made known at the right time, a message we do well to consider; - “Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; - and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed on the housetops!”


There are a number of times in the Gospels where Jesus makes it known he is aware of the thoughts of his disciples. What we are being told here is in the future any ‘secret’ or ‘personal’ thoughts or actions will be made known; - as nothing is hidden from our Creator!


Then the tone of the reading becomes more personal with Jesus saying to his disciples; - To you my friends I say;….” and he goes on to tell them not to be concerned about anyone who has the power to kill us; - because “after that they can do no more;”- but the ones we should be worried about are those who have the power to cast us into hell!


Clearly, he is referring to Satan and the temptations we all have to deal with on a regular basis; - and which he has told us we must prepare for via Mortification, Prayer and Sacrament! “Your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion; - seeking someone to devour!”


It is interesting to note in this talk with his disciples Christ focuses very much on the enemies and trials they will encounter; - even addressing the possibility they might have to sacrifice their lives; - but then we should not be surprised, given his disciples are expected to “follow” and “imitate” their teacher?


Jesus then concludes this reading by telling his disciples “There is no need to be afraid!” – making the point even the sparrows who fly around each day are known to God; - “but you are worth more than many sparrows”; - The point being, we must have faith and trust in God’s love and help – and not in our own ‘wisdom’ or ‘ability’!


Gospel Acclamation Ps32:22


Alleluia, alleluia!

Lord, let your mercy be on us,

as we place our trust in you.

Alleluia!


First reading Romans 4:1-8 · Abraham was justified not by his actions but by faith


What shall we say about Abraham, the ancestor from whom we are all descended? If Abraham was justified as a reward for doing something, he would really have had something to boast about, though not in God’s sight because scripture says: Abraham put his faith in God, and this faith was considered as justifying him. If a man has work to show, his wages are not considered as a favour but as his due; but when a man has nothing to show except faith in the one who justifies sinners, then his faith is considered as justifying him. And David says the same: a man is happy if God considers him righteous, irrespective of good deeds:


Happy those whose crimes are forgiven,

whose sins are blotted out;

happy the man whom the Lord considers sinless.







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