First Reading: Jer.20: 20-13
Responsorial Psalm: Ps.69: 8-10, 24, 17, 33-35
Second Reading: Romans 5:12-15
Gospel: Mt.10: 26-33
DO NOT BE AFRAID! The object of our fears usually have names: something, some event, some persons–they are things we fret about such as multiple aspects of the virus, our weakening mental and physical conditions, our families, the future of the world, our seeming helplessness in the race of all, etc. etc. These personal and communal experiences and urgent need for assistance are expressed by Jeremiah’s laments, the plaintive cries for refuge in the Psalm, and Paul’s blunt description of the cause of much of the suffering. Yet Jesus advises us in the face of all seemingly insurmountable calamities, DO NOT FEAR! These words can seem impossible to be accepted and followed but Jesus tenderly repeats them reminding us of a truth we hardly know how to comprehend: our God who created the vast Universe which is still unfolding has such a PERSONAL LOVE FOR US that God is aware of how many hairs we have on our heads…just as the awareness of tiny sparrows!! Try as we may we cannot grasp such tremendous love; we can only beg for the grace to lovingly trust and NOT BE AFRAID!
Loving and Gracious God, surrounded as we are by so much personal and communal suffering and evil, we feel sometimes that our DNA IS FEAR and we are unable to break through which binds us. Help us to humbly accept our weakness, to let go our need and desire to rescue ourselves and by the power of your Spirit in us, to simply rest in your loving promise of boundless love–even counting the hairs of our head–hearing over and over again DO NOT FEAR!
Norma Rocklage, OSF