Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A good friend of mine recently had her email address “stolen” by some unknown hacker. This brought on considerable worry about other ways in which her identity might have been compromised. Of course she immediately changed her email address. But she couldn’t escape the lingering anxiety about what other facets of her personal identity might have been invaded and compromised.
Fear and anxiety are dangerous emotions which the Evil One employs to destroy a person’s self-confidence and to undermine one’s peace of soul. Such fears can undermine my relationships: “What did he mean by that remark?” “Why did she give me that strange look?” “Why wasn’t I invited to that birthday lunch?”
Into such situations Jesus offers a healthy dose of reality: “Be not afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.” Whether young or old, healthy, lasting relationships strengthen our confidence to put our best selves forward, to use our time and talents creatively. We do this by calming a frantic situation, by offering perspective during a heated exchange, by bringing a healthy dose of reality to a time of stress. Jesus stands with us in the midst of life’s heavy storms…even those that only seem “heavy” in the moment. Jesus, my very best companion. Come walk with me today!
—The Jesuit prayer team from the Jesuit Community at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa, WI.
Be not afraid: I go before you always.
Come, follow me, and I will give you rest.
—“Be Not Afraid” © 1975, Robert J. Dufford, SJ, and New Dawn Music
Please share the Good Word with your friends!