Do not be afraid….Matthew10:31
Method: Lectio Divina
Commentary from Loyola Press
We read today’s Gospel in the context of last week’s Gospel in which Jesus sent the twelve disciples to proclaim the kingdom of heaven. In between last week’s reading and today’s reading, Jesus has predicted that the disciples will face difficulties in their mission. Many people will not receive them well, even within the land of Israel. Even family members will turn away from the disciples because of the disciples’ commitment to Jesus and the kingdom. Today’s Gospel offers the disciples consolation against this difficult truth.
This section of Matthew’s Gospel should be read in the context of Matthew’s intended audience, a Jewish-Christian community. The Gospel alludes to the dangers and persecutions that this community has most likely already faced and will continue to face. To reassure this community, Matthew recalls for them the encouraging words of Jesus that we read today.
In this Gospel passage, Jesus might be understood as putting suffering in perspective. The disciples of Jesus are called upon to keep their focus on God. Those who can harm the body do not have ultimate power; God does. Still persecution and suffering can not be avoided or prevented. But Jesus reassures his disciples that God knows and cares about what happens to his children.
We might not face the same type of persecution, but we do experience difficulties as we endeavor to live a Christian life. Sometimes we let the opinions of others prevent us from doing what we know to be right. We need the reminder that what God thinks about us is more important. We are reassured by the promise that God cares for us and protects us.
See also the reflection by Julianna Deutscher in Living with Christ.
Questions for reflection:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What comforted you?
- What challenged you?
- What are you afraid of right now?
- How will your faith help you deal with this fear?
- How can I help others be less fearful?
Other Resources for Lectio Divina of John 6:51-59
- Loyola Press Sunday Connection 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A Family Faith Suggestions
- Portland Diocese Lectio Divina for the 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
- Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Audio Divina and Video Divina
View the video and answer the reflection questions below.
- What emotions does the video evoke?
- What is the connection between the Gospel and this video??
- What other images would you include in this video? Why?
- Why is it sometimes hard to experience God’s love?
- How do we help others to experience God’s love?
Visio Divina of The Sparrow
- Pray in quiet with your eyes closed. Bring yourself towards stillness.
- Gaze at the image. Let your eyes rest on the scene. Note your feelings as you explore it.
- Read Matthew 10:26-33
- Gaze at the photo again. Imagine yourself seeing the sparrow directly. What do you see? What you hear? sense?
- How do you connect the passage with the photo?
- Read the commentary below. How does these insights enrich your understanding?
- How is the sacred present to you in this experience?
- How does this Visio Divina relate to your life now?
- What insight from this experience do you want to retain? How will you do that?
- Complete the Visio Divina by offering a prayer of thanksgiving.
“Each of us is called to do our own part, but we are not alone” Excerpted from “Message to the Laity and Families” issued by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life on March 6, 2020. Link (Scroll to bottom of the page.)
Children’s Liturgy Resources
Children’s Liturgy Resources from Loyola Press
CAFOD Resources for 21 June Children’s liturgy for The 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)
Liturgy of the Word with Children, Diocese of Auckland The 12th Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)
The Kids’ Bulletin explanations and activities
Living With Christ for Children http://www.livingwithchrist.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LWCSM-Y_June-21.pdf