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Thursday, December 13, 2007

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St. Lucy

Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalm 145
Matthew 11:11-15

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displacing fear with love

"It is I Who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you." —Isaiah 41:13-14

Our heavenly Father commands us three-hundred and sixty-five times in the Bible to fear not and to trust in His help. Even if we feel like worms or maggots (Is 41:14), helpless, hopeless, and tempted to hate ourselves, our Father assures us we don't have to live in fear (see Lk 12:32). We can trust in Him.

"Thus we may say with confidence: 'The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?' " (Heb 13:6) By faith, we can say: "The Lord is with me to help me, and I shall look down upon my foes" (Ps 118:7). "Though an army encamp against me, my heart will not fear; though war be waged upon me, even then will I trust" (Ps 27:3). Our prayer should be: "O Most High, when I begin to fear, in You will I trust. In God, in Whose promise I glory, in God I trust without fear; what can flesh do against me?" (Ps 56:4-5)

Our heavenly Father doesn't want His children to be fearful. His perfect love for us will cast out all fear (1 Jn 4:18) if we "come to know and to believe in the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16). This is the result of Jesus' Incarnation and of Christmas. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the only true Christmas Spirit, we are confirmed and assured that our Father loves us. After our Father has given us His Son, is there any doubt about His love? Is there any reason to fear? (see Rm 8:32)

Prayer:  Father, enable me to live in Your love and not in fear (see Jn 15:9; Lk 12:32; 1 Jn 4:16).

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he." —Mt 11:11

Praise:  St. Lucy chose martyrdom rather than marriage to an unbeliever.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 30, 2007

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