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Green Leaf

July 13

FOCUS: With the Lord beside us, we can do his will.

Plant

Reflection

00:00 / 02:05

Is 6:1-8
Ps 93:1ab, 1cd-2, 5
Mt 10:24-33

Persecution and Martyrdom. These are the realities of discipleship. Jesus is clear and does not sugarcoat the consequences of proclaiming his name throughout the world. But he gives his disciples encouragement and reassurance that no matter what, God the Father sees them, knows them and cares for them.

Now as then, we, the disciples of the 21st century, are being exhorted to have courage and bear witness to Jesus Christ, no matter what. He wants the good news to be preached forever, in all places, and in all circumstances. He wants us to spend ourselves in service of the Gospel, bringing its light to the darkness of the world.

Most of us are not going to face the challenges and opportunities of persecution and martyrdom, like the great saints that have gone before us, but what are we willing to go through, or go without, in the service of the Gospel?

In the first reading, Isaiah, despite his misgivings about his worthiness, offers his life to serve the Lord, as the cleansing action of the angel gifts him with the grace to boldly go forward. We have been washed in the waters of Baptism, received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, and have received power when the Holy Spirit came upon us at our Confirmation. Like Isaiah, we have been prepared and are constantly nourished and strengthened to bring about the kingdom. How are we doing? Are we tapping into these life- giving, soul-saving graces, to give us the desire and courage to give thanks and proclaim Christ, in all circumstances?

Like Isaiah, we may think that we are not worthy. But Jesus has an answer for us: Not a single sparrow falls without the knowledge of the Father, and we are worth more than many sparrows. And don’t forget, every hair on your head has been counted.

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