Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not be afraid. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.
‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.
‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’
The Gospel on Sunday, the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – we are now beyond the sway of the liturgical seasons of Lent and Easter – calls on us ‘not to be afraid’.
Fear is corrosive of our freedom and integrity. It inhibits love and drives us towards addictions and compulsions. Jesus urges us to be free of fear, won from it by the deepest knowledge of the love and mercy of God who is our sure safety.
- Take a deep breath and know you are loved.
Light in darkness. Quayside, L’Estaque. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.