"do not live in fear" (lk 12:32)
"A crowd of thousands had gathered, so dense that they were treading on one another." —Luke 12:1
In the midst of a mob, Jesus told His friends: "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and can do no more" (Lk 12:4). Then He added: "Fear nothing" (Lk 12:7). Three-hundred and sixty-five times in the Bible, the Lord commands us to not be afraid. Nonetheless, we feel afraid anyway. We can't just turn fear off as if we had control of it. Rather, fear turns us off. It seems bigger than us. How can we obey Jesus and never give in to fear?
As little children, we overcame some fears by simply holding our parents' hands. Even when our parents were not nearby, their assuring words often kept us from yielding to fear. We overcome all fears in the same manner, keeping our hand in the nail-scarred hand of Jesus. Although we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil for He is with us (Ps 23:4). We fearlessly undertake the fearsome task of making disciples of all nations because He promised to be with us always, even "until the end of the world" (Mt 28:20).
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life's Refuge; of whom should I be afraid?" (Ps 27:1) "Fear nothing, then" (Lk 12:7).
Prayer: Father, because You have given me freedom from fear, may I do something for You that I've never done before.
Promise: "When a man does nothing, yet believes in Him Who justifies the sinful, his faith is credited as justice." —Rm 4:5
Praise: St. Isaac Jogues returned to the Indians who had tortured him because he loved them so much he couldn't bear the thought that even one of them might not hear the gospel of Christ.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Fear of the Lord and Evangelization on audio AV 59-1 or video V-59.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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