The one certainty in life is that it will end in death. We spend a whole life preparing for it, or do we not? We are supposed to be going on to a better life where there is no suffering, only everlasting joy. Yet for the majority of us there is a fear factor. It is natural, after all, we are humans.
What do we fear? When I experienced job loss, I was anxious, afraid and fearful. In moments when these emotions went unchecked, I slipped into panic. In moments of calm, I asked myself “what is it that I fear?” It wasn’t exactly that I would immediately go hungry or be without shelter. It was more a fear of losing what I have and flying into the unknown.
Fear then blinded me to what was immediately happening for me. There were the many messages of support that assured me of the many family and friends who will journey with me through that difficult period. I was blind to this same message I hear today, “Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.”
I was blind to God’s immediate response of not allowing me to fall to the ground as He acted through family and friends. I was blind to God’s immediate response to my fears.
Fear will make a sparrow fly away from familiar grounds. But the world is so vast, and as far as the little sparrow can fly, there will always be an abundance of food to feed the hundreds of sparrows. This is the reassuring message of today of a God unconditional in his love and generosity.
Often when we look back at our misadventures in life, we realize that they were turning points that took us into new abundant fields. Today is a good day to look for God’s hand in the unfortunate events that happened to us and to trace this guiding hand as He led us into unknown territory to find a new beginning and a new life. For some, life became even better! We may casually call it a “blessing in disguise” but dwelling deep in gratitude it is an experience of God’s unconditional goodness.
The path of life to death is a rocky one. Every one of us will experience trials and tribulations, sadness and grief alongside happiness and joy, jubilations and exultations. And fear accompanies us on this path. But it is in fear that we should find no fear but this opportunity to discover that God’s unconditional love, goodness and generosity will always bless us into new fields of life.
Like a sparrow we fly unafraid. Each conquest of fear deepening our relationship with God our Creator. Each step on this rocky path prepares us for the ultimate fear of death, of having to give up all we have. Like a sparrow we must fly in life allowing God to show us his treasures of generosity beyond the perimeters we fear to go beyond.
Often all we have been praying for in life are found in those fields. Let go of fear and fly.
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time