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Teacher and Master
Memorial of Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Jesus said to his Apostles: “No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And 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. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, I’m here with you again in spirit to have a heart-to-heart conversation. Help me to open myself up to you, so that you can inflame my faith, hope, and charity. Help me to see that everything I am is in your hands and that nothing I do, nothing that happens to me, goes unnoticed by you. Lord, increase my trust!
- Disciples like the Master: “No disciple is above his teacher,” Our Lord says in today’s Gospel. However, he does make a qualification: “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher.” For the Apostles and for us, this is the essence of our Christian lives—transformation into other Christs.We are transformed when we go about doing good, suffering, loving, and blessing as he did despite obstacles. Our Lord had many enemies, so we might also, right? Christ simply tells us, “Therefore do not be afraid of them.” Instead, we pray, “Jesus I trust in you.”
- All in God’s Hands:Christ tells us that two sparrows are practically worthless from an earthly perspective, yet “not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.” Everything that happens to us, everything we do, happens under the loving gaze of God the Father. What an enduring source of comfort! Nothing in our life is meaningless, because the Lord knows and loves us—he knows the number of hairs on our heads and he promises we are “worth more than many sparrows.”
- Acknowledging Christ:The relationship Jesus offers us transforms us to the degree that we open ourselves to his love. As we are filled with his love, our hearts can’t help but love reciprocally! And what person who truly finds himself in love keeps that love hidden? It seems unthinkable. Jesus tells us that when we acknowledge our love for him before others, he acknowledges us before the Father. May we be evangelists—souls so in love with Christ that we share his truth without fear or hesitation.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, may my life be a process of transformation into you; help me to consciously work toward this goal. Help me to see how the Father holds me in his hands with love, and sees everything in my life with the greatest understanding. Lord, give me the strength to proclaim your name boldly to others, propelled by your love!
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take a moment to pray before I start and end my work.
For Further Reflection: Many of the ideas proposed in this meditation receive a much deeper treatment in Into Your Hands, Father by Fr. Wilfred Stinnisen, OCD.
Written by Br. Brian Flanagan, LC.