In the Gospel reading we see the Pharisees plotting to kill Jesus, so He ran away. In doing so, He appeared to be a coward who had lost His guts. However, we must remember that courage is not to be equated with recklessness.

When the Lord ran away, the time for His suffering had not yet come. There was a proper timing. There was a timetable to be fulfilled. As far as the Lord was concerned, He had not yet completed His mission and was not yet ready to die. Therefore, even if He was courageous, He could not be so reckless as to face danger unnecessarily.

So many accidents happen because people are reckless. So many graces are lost because we say we are courageous when in fact, we are just careless and reckless. We pretend to be courageous even if what we are doing is out of place.

The Lord is telling us that we can still be courageous yet at the same time be gentle. We harbor the notion that a courageous person is one who talks loud, punches hard or even one whose words can inflict pain.

That is not courage. It is abrasiveness. That is not courage. It is recklessness. Courage without intelligence is recklessness.

Courage without intelligence is not a virtue. Courage without love is a liability. Let us avoid hurting each other under the pretext of courage.

We are not courageous if we hurt others.

“To be brave, to be courageous, you don’t even have to crush the weak. You do not even have to hurt each other.” To be courageous, you must put intelligence and love into what you do. To be courageous, you need not be abrasive. To be courageous, you need not be harsh. To be courageous, you must actually be gentle, as gentle as the Lord.

We are not less courageous if we talk gently. We do not become less courageous if we avoid danger. The fact is, true and real courage is gentleness in the face of danger. True and real courage means using our own mind and heart.

Let us stop hurting each other. Let us stop making the lives of others more difficult by our harshness. Let us pray for gentleness, a gentle courage.

Mt. 12:9-15
Only Jesus, Always Jesus

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