“Fear no one,” Jesus says. He is talking about fearing those who persecute you for your faith.
In the verses before this Gospel passage, he tries to prepare us for that persecution and says that since it was done to him (Jesus), it would be done to his followers. But he triumphed over his persecutors; they could not stop him. And that is what he promises us. We cannot be destroyed as long as we keep that faith.
Now the best way to keep that faith is to give it away.
That sounds like a paradox, but it means that when we spread the faith, our faith grows, too. And when we allow others to share their faith with us, we are encouraged and supported.
Sometimes we may hesitate to talk about our faith.
That is the only thing to fear: not Satan’s power, but our weakness.
That’s why Jesus said whoever denies him will be denied by him. Yet Jesus died for our sins, so even they cannot destroy us if we turn back to the Lord. So thank him for his forgiveness, but don’t forget to spread the news that you are forgiven. You might give someone else the courage to come back to the Lord, and so score another victory for faith over fear.
Tom Schmidt – Diocesan Publications