Reflection on 12th Sunday: 21st June 2020

“Do not be afraid”
FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real

One of the gifts of Lockdown is that is has given us time be in touch with our emotions and in the process hopefully we have dispelled the myth of the “stiff upper lip” as being a sign of strength. “We’ve become so used to suppressing and judging our emotional responses if things are difficult, or we try to make them last if they are happy, nice ones. By allowing what’s happening inside of us, we won’t reject our difficult emotions or try to force ourselves to feel something different. Whatever we resist, persists. This is actually one of the leading causes of our suffering. A deepening spiritual journey is an invitation to be grounded in our immediate experiences, allowing them to be what they are. We then learn to welcome all our emotions as valid, and as potential teachers. Our inner state of turmoil can gently settle down when we acknowledge and make room for whatever is happening.

Paula D’Arcy tells us that God comes to us disguised as our life. It has taken me a long time to start appreciating that this life, as it is, is our greatest teacher if I let go of my attempts to glamourise or improve it, and rather be open to it with an attitude of surrender and receptivity. ‘The word surrender itself means to hand oneself over or entrust oneself. It is not about outer capitulation but about inner opening. It is always voluntary, and rather than an act of weakness, it is always an act of strength.’ (Cynthia Bourgeault) It is an opening to the ‘I Am’ presence of God, to the peace that passes understanding that is holding all that is real. True peace is not smooth circumstances or permanently peaceful, calm emotions or better insurance against disasters out there, but an ability to find a stability of presence and a deeper grounding in the quiet calm, restful embrace of God. Eckhart Tolle wrote: ‘Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.’ ”

Adapted: Sharon Grussendorf

Of what are you afraid?
Has your vision come to be so narrow?
That you believe in only what you see and nothing more.
I know you know my heart. I embrace the lily and the sparrow
Whoever taught you different does not know how much I love you.

You Cannot Go Below My Resting Arms, David Kauffman: CD ‘Be Still’

Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33

Jesus said to his disciples, “Have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.”