Fear of hell doesn’t want to prepare us to be afraid of God, but the evil that moves as away from God. Matthew 10:26-33 Commentary

1. Introductory prayer 

Such trust of the ordinary sparrows! Twittering, and at the same time follow, and each has to get enough to survive. Apparently, they are doing it better in flocks. God the Father, you are trying to show me that you care also for the sparrows, let alone me! And I am worried about everything … For confidence I ask, in my everyday life, that I may be faithful in small –  so that I can fly in everyday life.

2. Reading – Listening: The Gospel according to Matthew 10:26-33

26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

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3. Thoughts on the Gospel 

  • Jesus announced the apostles, who sent them into his harvest that they will be prosecuted. But he added, in the hardships and persecutions they should be without fear. Even sparrows are taken care of. Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

 

  • What is God testing his evangelizers? He wants to protect them from relying only on themselves,, on their gifts and powers. When the Lord “examines the reins and the heart”, as Jeremiah says, he wants to see on what builds his disciple, where his heart is turning. As soon as he can, man begins to work for his glory.

 

  • The Gospel becomes a means to gain reputation and force. He no longer asks because it seems that can do everything by himself. And here are now the tests, which reveal his fragility and weakness. Again he begins to turn for help to him who sent him to work.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” says Jesus. The man often has his life for the absolute value, and he will do his best to maintain the skin. Why should we lose what it all means? But in order to be able to cleanse the fear of the body, he should have a higher value, for which he will be afraid to lose it. This value is eternal life.

  • „Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell „Here Jesus speaks of the fear of God, which is the beginning of the wisdom, as they say in the Old Testament sages. Fear of God means to recognize that God is God and only he is the one. It means not wanting to lose him, because he is life. If God is my life, I will not do anything that he would go away from me. If I do not have fear of God, I will fear of humans.

 

  • Only God can destroy both soul and body into hell. These are the words of Jesus. Hell or Geenna is the Greek word for Hinon valley near Jerusalem. There in ancient times people were sacrificed as a burnt offering to the god Molech, the Israelites were burning trash, so in the valley was always burning and smelling. A man who is afraid of death and wants to save himself at any cost, is destroying his life and throwing it away as garbage.

To miss the goal is a human tragedy. All Christian tradition speaks of hell. Not in order to scare people, but in order to realize the evil and its consequences. Fear of hell does not want to prepare us to be afraid of God, but the evil that moves as away from God.

4. Meditation – thinking

About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:

  • Severe spirit is always trying to hit us in the place where we are most vulnerable. Therefore he tells us lies about God and about us and says that we should not talk to anyone. I go to Jesus and tell him some thoughts and beliefs that are trying to show me as unworthy, incapable. Then I listen to Jesus, what he tells me … Just listen without looking for excuses. I can repeat this several times during this period.
  • If I could fully trust God, who even has had counted all my hair, which of his call I would respond now?
  • We are strong, because the Spirit lives in us. For which power in recent times, I would particularly like to thank the Holy Spirit?

5. Personal Prayer

In the next moments of silence, I talk about of this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God)

6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God

Now I let silence to be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me.

Perhaps from this silence I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship, or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…

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7. Action 

When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (Write down your insights for concrete action)

8. Prayer at the end

Thank You, God of Love, that you care for me, for my every hair, even when I am worried about my every hair – all relationships, and my actions every moment of the day. Please strengthen my trust in you, so that I can be released as a sparrow, and follow your invitation and preach the power of your love on the rooftops!

9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection

This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:

  • How was I feeling when I started praying?
  • What happened during the prayer?
  • What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
  • How did I feel at the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
  • What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
  • How did I finish my prayer?
  • What did I receive for my everyday life?
  • In the end, I can write the lessons, findings and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
  • Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. By prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.

Lectio divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home  – ignacijevdom.si

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