Take Heart – Sparrow & Arrow Both!

Greetings on this the Optional Memorial of Saint Sebastian, martyr
Readings: 1 Pt 3:14-17; Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Mt 10:28-33
Notes: During Eucharistic Adoration this week my reflection (Stretch Out Your Hand) can be a particuarly challenging one when a person has a physical ailment or injury. For example, a man with a stroke paralysis in his right arm may find the reading to be both extreme in hope and extreme in disappointment. Stretch out my hand would be exactly what he would want to be given as a command and the receiving the blessing of the Synagogue that day! Instant Restoration!

It is difficult to imagine that Jesus’ miracles while extensive and superabundant were not the Lord’s final answer to our problems and woes. These are but examples and signs of the divine love and divine power.

All these things are preparation and anticipation of the final act of blessing – resurrection and eternal life.

It is our task to derive hope and encouragement from the saints and from the institutions and places that we have experienced joy and community. It is our task to read about the divine signs of the Gospel of John as proof and assurance not a particular gift to each and every one, all the time.

Take heart!

Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Today we celebrate Saint Sebastian.

Photo of Mom’s parish, Woodside, NYC. We laid her to rest at Calvery Cemetery, February, 2020.

From the ordinary weekday reading, the calling of the Apostles: Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. Jesus’ calling is a powerful attraction. The attraction of superabundant love even held, for a while, Judas Iscariot who later betrayed him. Sebastian did better.

Reflection

The fact that many of the early saints made such a tremendous impression on the Church—awakening widespread devotion and great praise from the greatest writers of the Church—is proof of the heroism of their lives. As has been said, legends may not be literally true. Yet they may express the very substance of the faith and courage evident in the lives of these heroes and heroines of Christ.

From: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-sebastian/

First reading
Beloved: Even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34 is a highly regarded psalm of praise and trust in the Lord.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them.

Alleluia Verse
Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life.

Gospel Portion
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

5 thoughts on “Take Heart – Sparrow & Arrow Both!

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