Throughout Matthew’s Gospel “Hope for the coming of God’s Kingdom” is a recurrent theme. It is summed up in the Our Father “your Kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Matthew is a teacher.
St Dominic could have taken this Gospel as his Mission Statement. The disciples must steadfastly proclaim the teaching of Christ – “proclaim it from the rooftops.” They are to be fearless and confident in proclaiming the Gospel. Three times He stresses they are not to be afraid; they are to trust in God’s care for them. They are not promised they will not suffer but they are assured He will take care of them in every trial and support them in every crisis. God watches as a father over the least of his little creatures – even the little sparrow. The command to teach in the face of persecution is very strong in this Gospel.
It’s easy to apply this to our lives today and perhaps this gospel helps is to see that the Church is still persecuted. We have to fearlessly stand up for what we believe. Thomas Merton puts it well, speaking of “the constant struggle to break through illusion and falsity and come to Christ and freedom.”