Tuesday: 17th July, 2018
1st reading: Isaiah 7:1-9, Psalm 48
Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Isaiah 7:2 The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of the king and his people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
When a breeze blows, most people often see the leaves, fruits and some weakened branches of a tree sway to the wind. But in today’s text, it appears but for the roots of the tree, even its trunk shook. The words of Jesus in Mark 14:27 ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered’ in respect of today’s text, thus takes on a broader meaning.
It signified more than just a physical striking, but in this account of Ahaz and his people, we see a mental strike-a strike of fear that trickled down with damaging effects. In fact, such was the magnitude and intensity of the fear that it was compared to the ‘shaking of forest trees in a storm and it proceeded from the ‘TOP’.
Hence, even though it is concerning that king Ahaz and his people had the same reaction to the news they heard, given that news of any impending war or an imminent siege reached the ears of higher ups before being communicated downwards to the people, this similarity in reaction should not really be a big surprise because those below, learn from and in many cases, mimic the actions and reactions of those above them. Thus, the people became a mirror image of their king and his court.’
My dear, fear is contagious and if not contained, can very rapidly spread like wildfire. Nonetheless, as it often comes as a result of the things we see and hear, the only way to overcome is to alter those things we see and hear. Judah had to be reminded by God that nothing was going to happen, hence they received encouragement in the face of fear and that is what we also need to seek. To find courage in the word of God to face any fears that are thrown our way.
Remember # the last thing you want to become is a source of fear to others.