Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript
The gospel today says, “Fear not.” But we all have fears. Let me tell you a story about fears. It’s one of my favorite stories.
Do you have any idea how a grizzly bear becomes a grizzly bear?
All right, let me tell you.
So, a mother grizzly bear will have cubs. Usually two. And they are taught from the very moment of birth absolute strict obedience. Strict obedience to do everything the mother says they are to do. That’s really to protect the cubs. But if they disobey they are dealt with harshly because the mother wants to teach and protect them.
At the age about two the mother will take the cubs and lead them to a tall tree. And the mother will say, “Go climb that tree and you stay up there until I come back and tell you to come down.” And they do, out of obedience.
And the mother grizzly bear walks away and never comes back.
So the cubs are faced with a decision. Disobey the mother and be severely punished or stay up in the tree and die. Well, they come down. They face their greatest fear. They face and they choose life. They don’t let fear dominate, rather they choose life.
The gospel today tells us, “Don’t be afraid.” Don’t be afraid that you’re loved. The gospel is a gospel of consolation. God loves you so much. And then these images are given. You’re worth, of course, a flock of sparrows and more.
God loves you so much that every hair on your head has been counted. God wants us not to live in fear but to live in God’s love. And then to go out and to share that love with others.
As we come to celebrate Eucharist this morning, we are keenly aware of God’s love for us. God so loved the world – and you and me – that he sent his only son.
A special thank you to our congregation from St. Hilary Parish, Chicago.