01 Jul Be Not Afraid (Mt 8:25-26) by Kevin McNicholas
“They came and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’ He said to them, ‘Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?’ Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm.” ~ Mt 8:25-26 (full readings)
Kevin’s Reflections: Why are we terrified? Jesus is here to protect us, He has won victory over sin. Father Hembrow, our parish priest, told a story about a little girl in school whose teacher asked her what she was afraid of one Halloween, and she said “nothing but mortal sin.” To have the faith of a child! We are all human, and despite our faith, we may still experience fear or worry, though this is often the sign that we are thinking like humans and not like God. In his first homily at his installation Mass in 1978, St. John Paul II said “Be not afraid! Open the doors to Christ!” This was his message to the world, one that he lived every day, through an assassination attempt, the fall of Communism, his own failing health, and finally, his death. This final chapter of his life was perhaps especially important, as he lived all that he had spoken during his life. He lived the faith that freed him from fear, even when his health, his body, and finally his voice failed him. He looked at the world, at others, and at himself through God’s eyes and found the strength to continue in the face of what would have created a deep fear in any one of us. In our everyday lives, we can draw great inspiration from Pope John Paul II, in his deep devotion to the Holy Mother, in his love of those around him, in his championing the faith, his defense of the dignity of human life in all stages. The Pope taught us that holiness is experienced through our everyday lives and actions; we can be holy as Christ teaches us to be holy through our interactions, our words, our treatment of others. Today I am going to pray for the grace to do this, to be holy each minute.
* Kevin is a School Social Worker in Southern Illinois. He and his wife Laura have been blessed with two miracles: a 21 month old daughter named Elliana (“the Lord Answers”) and a 2 1/2 month old son named Jeremiah (“God is Exalted”). They have been blessed during the 8 years of their marriage to travel to Catholic pilgrimage sites worldwide, as well as to serve as Catholic Engaged Encounter retreat leaders.
Faith Challenge: Pray for greater Faith, which frees us from our worldly fears and brings us to greater holiness.
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Faith Quote: “Remember that God loves you. If you are loved, what is there to be frightened of?” ~ St. John Paul II
Through Christ our Lord,