12th Sunday year A 2020

There is much going on today that has made it easy for us to fear and worry.  The pandemic, protests, riots, injustices, and perhaps overall a sense of loss, a loss of the previously stable day to day living. And anything else that might go awry seems magnified.  But as it has been said before, fear is no way for a Christian to live.  Though one may feel frustrations and anger and sadness and worry, at our core must be loving consolations and confidence that comes from our faith and union with Jesus Christ.  And so, we are to let nothing and no one cause us to succumb to fear.  We are to live our Christian lives in joyful hope, with God’s grace, with God’s consolation, and an expectation of, not earthly, but eternal things.

When there is pushback, it can be easy to simply shrink back and keep our mouths shut.  It is easy to falter on our commitment and determination to live our Christian lives.  Jeremiah received consistent pushback from speaking God’s messages, even from his own friends, to the point where he would be imprisoned and his life plotted against.  Yet despite all this, he remains faithful to being God’s servant, and trusts in God to deliver him.

Jesus is saying the same to his disciples, who are to go out and proclaim the good news.  He says to expect pushback, but not to give into fear or despair. They have God on their side who will preserve them for eternity.

I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I do know who is with me now, and that is God the Father, Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit, our advocate.  With us now also are the angels and the Communion of Saints in heaven, as well as the prayers and support of the faithful here on earth.  That is my support.  That is your support.

Jesus does not come to us through fear, but through love and humility.  And when you have unifying love, there is no reason to fear.  Love is more powerful than fear.  It is God’s love for us that has overcome the power of sin and death, it is God’s love for us that can move us to action.

Two days ago the Church celebrated the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a feast that highlights Jesus’ immense love for us. When you look at it, what you see is the heart of Jesus, which is on fire, a burning fire of love for you.  It is surrounding by thorns and has a pierced wound on it, showing that his love is so great that it is willing to go through pain and suffering. For Jesus, it is love that is the great motivator, it is love that spurs him to action.  It is love that allows to endure trials, to make sacrifices, to live in joy, to show compassion and mercy.

If there is something to fear, I suppose it would be this.  To not be united to the God who is life, who is love, who is truth, who desires us to turn away from deadly sin, and instead be in a relation of everlasting divine life.  Because to not have those things, is to ultimately have nothing at all, and to lose what you did have.  Let no one prevent you from achieving that.

So to put everything in perspective, if you want to be able to live without fear, if you want to be preserved for eternal glory, then make Jesus Christ and his gospel your priority.  Thus, whatever the world throws at you, you can still live confidently with God’s love and peace within you.

Are you concerned about your physical health and well-being?  Very good.  Are you concerned about your spiritual health and well-being, which have more long-term repercussions?

Are you concerned with your relationships with others, close friends, family or even strangers?  Very good.  Are you concerned about your relationships with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the saints of heaven?

Are you concerned about promoting justice in our world?  Very good.  Are you concerned about promoting the justice and teachings of Jesus Christ in the world?

Are you concerned about fostering peace between people, and unifying others in love and charity?  Very good.  Are you concerned about seeking peace in your heart and mind, uniting yourself to the love and peace of Jesus Christ?

I don’t always have confidence in the world and the people in it, but God forbid I ever lose confidence and hope in God my savior, who through his Son Jesus, has promised restoration, and joyful eternity with him in the glories of heaven.  Fear no one, and live in God’s love.