Faith and Fear
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.” Luke 12:32-48
19th SUNDAY Ordinary Time Cycle C
The house was still on fire. But everyone has already gone out – all except one, the young boy left on the second floor balcony. He was visible to everyone below but he could not see anyone from above. Although he could hear the voice of his father calling him.
“Jump my son and I will catch you.”
“But I do not see you.”
“Just trust me and jump.”
After a moment’s hesitation the boy then jumped and safely landed into his dad’s strong arms.
Fear is common to all of us. Everyone is afraid of something. It could be heights, a closed room, the dark, speaking in public. For some it would death, sickness, unemployment or any other insecurity.
Yet varied as our fears are, it has one remedy. That common solution is faith or the belief that one can make it through in spite of everything. We hear this in all three readings of today.
In the first reading from the book of Wisdom the Jews bearing the yoke of slavery under the Egyptians trusted that God would finally release them. And God did deliver them into the Promised Land. Wisdom 18:6-9
The second reading from the letter to the Hebrews is more explicit in saying that faith is believing in what one does not see, like the boy who did not see the father and yet was saved. Hebrews 11:1-2.8-12
In Luke’s gospel in the parable of the return of the master Jesus describes the faithful servant as one does his duty even if he does not see his master. And because he does so when the master finally returns he would be greatly rewarded.
Faith is the single thread running through our readings today. What is your greatest fear? How do you cope with it? Do you believe that you will make it through in spite of everything? Do you trust that God won’t abandon you in the midst of all your anxieties? How firm then is your faith?
We fear making mistakes. Pope Francis says: Use your mistakes with the serenity of a sculptor.
We are afraid of pain. Pope Francis’ advice is: Use pain to tone your pleasure.
We are fear obstacles. The pope has this to say: Use obstacles to open the windows of your intelligence.
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