Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.
can we truly claim to be immune from fear?
Even reading the Bible, we can see that from Genesis to the last pages of the New Testament there are plenty of episodes in which fear shakes the hearts of men.
Adam : said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” ( Genesis 3:10)
The disciples : saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. ( Matthew 14:26)
Peter: when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” ( Matthew 14:30)
Till after the Resurrection : When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” ( John 20:19)
In the Scriptures to all the fears of men, God the Father invites us not to be afraid, and to open our hearts to peace. As babies in parent’s arms confident to face the darkness of the night ,the Lord embraces and protects us :
His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day. ( Psalm 91)
“Fear”, the Pope Francis explained, “is an attitude that harms us, weakens us, diminishes us, even paralyzes us”. It is such that “a person in fear does nothing, doesn’t know what to do: is fearful, frightened, focused on herself so that something harmful or bad won’t happen to her”. Thus, “fear leads to selfish egocentrism and it paralyzes us”. For this very reason, “Jesus says to Paul: ‘Do not be afraid. Go on speaking’”. Pope Francis urged: “do not have fear” but instead “have joy”. He explained that “not having fear is asking for the grace of courage, the courage of the Holy Spirit; and having joy is asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit, even in the most difficult times, through that peace that the Lord gives us”. ( Domus Santa Marta 15th May 2015)
We ask God the Father to give us the gift of courage, joy and peace to be able to face the challenges of every day staring eyes on him ,even recognizing Him onthe faces of our brothers in need. We are not afraid !!!
40th International Prayer Marathon
28-29-30 Mat 2016