In the Gospel, Jesus repeated three times “Do not be afraid,” as He sends His apostles to preach the Kingdom of God to a world full of hostility. He knew very well the weaknesses and strengths of the people He was sending.
Fear is part of our daily life. We are afraid of many things such as failure, death, violence, the rise of terrorism, and religious intolerance in our world and our country. Now that I am in my third year of formation, there are many things that bother me. I fear that I can no longer meet the demands of academics and community life in my theology years. Reading the book of Henri Nouwen “The Inner Voice of Love” inspired me. For he said, “Do not be afraid, keep deepening your conviction that God’s love for you is enough, that you are in safe hands, and that you are being guided every step of the way.” His words ushered me to become more courageous in facing the challenges in the formation.
In today’s gospel, Jesus reminds us not to be afraid and no matter what the struggle is, he is always present, coming to us in love. Though our fear seems to grow bigger, we have a God who is bigger. This is also a reminder that every time we encounter difficulties, we should face them with courage and trust in his aid and protection. Fear can paralyze us and lead us into many forms of foolish thinking and acting. Fear does substantial damage to a person’s ability to stay calm, remain focused, and think clearly. Fear must then give way to faith and trust in God.
By: Sem. Nico Jay Z. del Mundo
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”