Jesus Christ, the Word of the Father, tells us today, “Don’t be afraid.” What are your fears? Where do your patent and hidden fears lie? Open the doors of your life to Christ so that you may feel and be able to say with the Apostle: all I can in him who comforts me.
Reading the book of Jeremiah 20, 10-13
Exit 68 R/. Lord, let your great goodness listen to me.
For you I have endured affronts,
But my prayer is addressed to you,
Look at him, the humble, and rejoice;
Reading the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Romans 5, 12-15
Gospel of the Day
Reading the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 10, 26-33
At that time, Jesus said to his disciples:
|Pope Benedict, in a message of April 9, 2006, said this: “Often ponder the Word of God, and let the Holy Spirit be his teacher. You will discover how many that God’s thinking is not that of men; they will be led to contemplate the true God and to read the events of history with their eyes; they will fully like the joy that comes from the truth. On the path of life, which is neither easy nor free of insidiousness, they will be able to encounter difficulties and sufferings and will sometimes be tempted to exclaim with the Psalmist: ‘I am too humiliated.’ Do not forget to add with Him: Lord ‘give me life according to your Word. My soul is in your hands incessantly, but I do not forget your law.’ God’s loving presence, through his Word, is a torch that dispels the darkness of fear and illuminates the way, even in the most difficult moments.”
Certainly the darkness of fear warms and paralyzes our lives on so many occasions and in many ways, even in our present.
For three times we have heard Jesus, in today’s Gospel, say to his disciples, “Don’t be afraid.”
No doubt today’s Word wants to shed light on this reality that we could say as human as it is dehumanizing: fear, fears. The first step to take is to locate and catalog our fears. Sometimes they’re afraid of things… of the past, of the present, of the future… situations, diseases, deficiencies, catastrophes, violence… fear of making decisions, fear of commitment, of the surrender of one’s life forever, fear of suffering for any reason, fear of the same death. Other times fear is focused on certain people who represent disproportionate harassment and a source of suffering and pain for us. And those fears frighten us and paralyze us, depersonalize us, enslave us, do not let us walk.
Someone once said that the only fear he had was himself, his own weakness, his inconsistency, his misery, his sin.
The first antidote to the fears that Jesus proposes is to live in truth. because there’s nothing hidden that doesn’t come to be discovered. The truth makes us free. True freedom of heart and spirit dilutes fears of things or people. And what is the truth? It is the question that Pontius Pilate asked Jesus before crucifying him, to which Jesus does not answer. because Jesus Himself is the Truth.
The second antidote to the fears jesus proposes to us is trust in the Father of heaven. there is nothing and no one to escape divine Providence. If God takes care of the birds of heaven, how he will not take care of each of us. It is about putting our whole life in the hands of God, our projects, failures, illusions, and even our sins. St. John Paul II said: “If you put everything in God’s hands, you will see God’s hand in everything.”
But Jesus warns us of what we truly must fear. to be killed by the spirit, by the soul. If we lose that, we lose what truly resembles God, which enables communion with Him, which sets us apart from the rest of our creatures. That is the only fear we have to have, to let ourselves be enveloped by deception, often self-deception, and mistrust, often self-confidence. Fear of sin, that is, the misfortune of the loss of communion with God, which leads us to the death of the spirit.
Jesus Christ has overcome sin and death with his offering to the Father in the sacrifice of the Cross that is updated in the celebration of the Eucharist. He is truth and life. He is the Father’s gift to humanity to overcome fear, particularly present in our world today because of the pandemic situation we are all suffering.
Without fear, therefore, we must bear witness of Him, be His witnesses, his spokesmen, his messenger disciples in these difficult times. Nothing and no one will take us away from the love of Christ. Nothing and no one can silence the Word of the Father who in Christ has been pronounced upon all mankind.
|Sir, there are dark clouds on the horizon of my life, the sea is rough, the waves knock me down and drown me. I’m scared.
The memory of my mistakes and sins, the uncertainty about my future, the cross of my present, paralyze me and cower me. I’m scared.
It’s hard for me to trust you with my life, to make decisions that can commit me forever, to give myself up at all. I’m scared.
I don’t know how to do and say, human respect beats me, the opinion of others enslaves me. I’m scared.
Superficiality and comfort envelop me, half truth and deception are chains that bind me, I don’t know how to free myself. I’m scared.
Sir, tell me again, “Don’t be afraid.” Repeat it to me every day, at every moment, especially when anguish and pain cause my life to lose all meaning and horizon.
Lord, tell me again, “Do not be afraid” of the past, the present, the future, the pain, the suffering, the insult, the abandonment, the loneliness, the sickness, the contempt, the insult, the death. to the cross in any of its forms.
Lord, tell me again, “Don’t be afraid. because I’m always with you.” Amen.