From the Pastor's Desk
In the Gospel today, Jesus says, “Fear no one. Do not be afraid of those who can kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. God cares for the sparrows, and you are more important than any of them. God cares for you, so fear no one. Whoever acknowledges me publicly, I will acknowledge before My Father.”
After calling His Disciples, Jesus does something important. He tries to take away their fear. Fear is the enemy of generosity and love. Fear impedes healing. If we reflect on what keeps us from a deeper commitment to service, the answer is always because of some kind of fear.
According to the Bible, fear came into our lives through the sin of Adam and Eve. As they rejected God’s Law, they voiced the objections first spoken by the fallen angels, “I will not subjugate myself to the Law of God. I will be my own God. No one will tell me how I should live.” This was more than a change in ideology; it was the opening through which evil worked its way into humanity. And with it came fear.
There is a difference between fear and “self-preservation.” Self-preservation is that natural instinct that saves us from predators or enemies. Without it, we would lose all the gifts God gave to us.
In our secular society, when people have little room for God in their lives, the self becomes the ultimate concern. The ultimate sign of this is when a person sees everything and everyone in relation to “what is best for me.” “How do I look? Why is nobody is thinking about me? I have my priorities, so don’t over commit me! I am not your guardian…” When the focus of everything becomes ourselves, we lose everything. Jesus says, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it” Luke 17:33.
In our Gospel today, Jesus is telling us that if we place our lives in His hands, we have nothing to fear. Placing our lives in His hands means living “His lifestyle.” It means being liberated from self-preoccupation. It means modeling our parents and grandparents who gave their lives in service to their country, church, community and family. A beautiful legacy of faith has been handed on to us, let us continue the tradition.
"Heavenly Father, Give me the courage to strive for the highest goals,
to flee every temptation to be mediocre.
Enable me to aspire to greatness,
and to open my heart with joy to Your call to holiness.
Free me from the fear of failure.
I want to be, Lord, firmly and forever united to You.
Grant me the graces I ask You by the gentle intercession
of the angels and saints, and through the merits
of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."