July 31, 2011
When we hear read the news of the world, it’s very clear that there are a lot of people who live in a constant state of fear. With a world torn by conflicts, terrorism, hunger, pandemic health issues, it is easy to see the source of this fear. Often we are paralyzed by our fears, real or imagined.
When we read Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, it’s pretty obvious that fear was around even in his time. Paul talks about anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, and the sword.
What do we really have to fear? As Christians we believe that this life is temporary. We are made for something more, something unimaginably wonderful in the life to come. A peace and joy that will last forever when we are in the presence of our Creator.
In this life we are sometimes given brief glimpses into that kind of joy, moments of great consolation. Our hearts can be filled at the birth of a child, the touch of a loved one, the reunion with a close friend. But we know from experience that we don’t live in those moments forever. They are fleeting.
The great challenge for each of us is to have the faith to accept God’s promises. In times of challenge it may be difficult to put aside our fears and anxieties. Jesus often told his disciples, “Be not afraid.” These were the first words Pope John Paul II said publicly after his election. He was speaking to the world. He was likely also speaking to himself and that is what we must do also. We must constantly remind ourselves that fear is an emotion that we can control, with the grace of God.
May the love of God and his abundant grace be present to each of us at all times but especially in those times when fear shows its ugly head.
God’s grace is His love for each of us. Find strength and courage in the words of Saint Paul when writing to the Romans. He reminded them and us that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord ” Rom 8:37-39