When I was growing up, when games and playing were real and not virtual, there was a game we played called, “Truth or Consequence” A bottle was spun and the person to whom the bottle pointed to had the option of whether to tell the truth or suffer the consequence. What then, is the consequence of one who doesn’t live in the truth?
As a priest, we get a pulse of people that we minister. Seemingly nowadays there seems to be a lot of people living in “fear.”
- It is not helpful that the media capitalizes on negative news
- It is not helpful that there are so many lies, half-truths, and fake news on social media
- It is not helpful that there are just so many uncertainties everywhere, from weather to our jobs and everything in between
- It is not helpful that many people have no more fear of the Lord, hence creating misguided priorities
- It is not helpful that many people do not believe in God anymore, hence sin abounds
As Christians, what does the Gospel tell us on how to deal with fear?
- All things will pass. We came into this world with nothing and we are leaving this world with nothing. If there is one person that we are accountable for our lives, it is God. In the end, he alone judges our life if it is worthy of heaven, hell, or purgatory.
- God is in control. When we pray to the Lord often the answer is not immediate. Because of this, we become impatient: Does God hear my prayer? Does he care? Why is He quiet? In the first reading, Jeremiah, who is a prophet himself, experienced Christ. It was clear to him that God was testing him. Hence he held on to God in faith. He after all is in control.
- God cares. Jesus once told his disciples to look at the birds, the Lord never abandons them. Certainly, we are more precious in the eyes of God; How beautiful are the flowers which are here today and gone tomorrow. Certainly, we are more precious in the eyes of God; He cares for us that he even counted the number of hairs on our heads. As the second reading tells us because of God’s love for us, He sent his only son to restore our relationship with God.
For today’s reflection, we realize that fear will always be part of our lives, but we cannot let fear paralyze us. Hence we ask God for peace which is beyond human understanding. This becomes a reality when we know that God cares, God is in control and it is only to him that we are accountable.