June 25, 2017 — Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
We are reminded in today’s readings that we are human, and that as a result of that we are sinners, and we inherit that sin from the very beginning, from Adam. St. Paul points that out in our Second Reading from Romans 2. Were you aware that in Hebrew the name Adam means “humanity?”
In today’s Gospel Reading from Matthew, Jesus also reminds us of the fact that we are sinners, but He also prompts us to remember that one of the reasons we sin is because we fear other humans and the consequences of living out our faith more than we fear the Lord Himself. Jesus says, “…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 Gehenna.”
“Gehenna” is translated in some Bible versions as “Hell.” What the Lord is trying to communicate to us may be that we probably tend to fear earthly matters and earthly people more than we fear God. If we are “killed” by someone or something on earth it is the body only which dies. However, shrinking back from God’s call can have eternal consequences.
“Saving grace” and being saved are probably not thoughts on which we like to dwell, but they are real, and we need to recognize that. St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote, “The saved are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet amongst those few I wish to be.”