"I do not fear at all what men can do to me for speaking the truth. I only fear what God would do if I were to lie." - St John Bosco
Gospel text (Lk 12,1-7): At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
"Beware of the leaven'that is, the hypocrisy'of the Pharisees.
"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."
So many of us have safety deposit boxes and even safes in our homes where we place all of our valuables to protect them from theft and fire. However, some valuables cannot be protected in that way. One is our faith.
Three-hundred and sixty-five times, once for each day of the year, the Lord commands us in the Bible: "Do not be afraid" (Lk 12:4). Pope John Paul II repeatedly proclaimed, prayed, and prophesied: "Do not be afraid." Although Satan tries to use fear to manipulate and even to enslave us (Heb 2:15), we can overcome the temptations to give in to fear. We can overcome not because we are strong, but because Jesus is our Strength and we believe in His love for us.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil for He is at our side (Ps 23:4) and even within us (see Jn 6:56). Jesus is the Light of the world. He is our Light and our Salvation; whom shall we fear? (Ps 27:1) Jesus is Love (1 Jn 4:16), and "Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear" (1 Jn 4:18). Jesus is God. He is perfect. Know Jesus; no fear!
This isn’t easy however; we are still human. It takes a conscious, day-by-day, moment-by-moment effort to love in this way, especially when others cause us harm. Love isn’t easy; it’s a risk, it’s a decision, it comes with the knowledge that it may never be returned. But “Do not be afraid”, for this is truly the love of God.