“Do not be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows”.
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
Every time we hear the above mentioned words, we tend to feel certain amount of fear and emotion blended together: fear of not being able to understand a God who seems to be lost/hidden behind the smallest creatures/things in the world (the sparrows and the hair of the head) and the emotion of images that speak to us of a God who performs unexpected things, who does for us what no one has done, what no one will ever do. He has engraved us on the palms of His hands and has prepared a nest for us in His hands. We are precious in His eyes. He cares for us. In other words, God is in love with every one of us.
The Gospel says that not even a sparrow will fall to the ground outside our heavenly Father’s care. Yet, “sparrows” continue to fall, innocents die, children are sold for a few dollar s or thrown away as soon as their short flight of life took off.
Therefore one might ask: is it God who makes us fall to the ground? Is it God who breaks the wings of our lives? No. At time people interpret this passage on the echo of certain popular sayings. But the Gospel does not say so, instead it ensures that no one will fall out of the hands of God, far from his presence. God will be there!
Nothing happens without God wanting it, right? However, many things do happen in the world against the will of God. Every hatred, every abuse, every conflict, every violence happens against the will of the Father, and yet nothing happens without God being “involved” in it, in the sense that nobody dies without Jesus not suffering the agony of it. Nobody is rejected without Him being rejected, nobody is crucified without Christ being crucified. Therefore, God is there in every moment of our sufferings and hardships. For that reason and for many more other, we shall announce to the world what we hear/know of God: “God is our loving Father”. “God cares for us His children”. There is nothing authentically human that does not find echo in the heart of God. Let us love our heavenly Father and let us not be scared of Him.
But at the same time, we must rather fear the one who has the ‘power to make the soul perish’. The soul is ‘vulnerable’. It is a flame that can languish, for it can ‘die’ of superficiality, of indifference, of lack of love, of hypocrisy. Soul ‘dies’ when we let ourselves be corrupted, when we disorientate others and take away their courage, when we work to demolish, to slander, to mock ideals, to spread fear.
In today’s Gospel passage three times Jesus reassures us saying: “Do not be afraid, you are worth!” How beautiful this expression is! If God cares for the sparrows, surely He will care for us His children. Yes, we are worth because of God. Each one of is worth more, more than many sparrows, more than all the flowers of the field, more than each one dares to hope for. Let us, therefore, thank God our Heavenly Father.
Let me take this chance to wish all Dads a very Happy Father’s Day ! God bless them all!