Saturday April 29th 2017 -Be not afraid

There are times of trouble and fear in all our lives. Jesus being fully human experienced fear in the garden the night before he died. He sweat blood. In years past I have heard the medical explanation of a person sweating blood and the physical and emotional trauma that Jesus must have gone through is distressing and remarkable. He is God and man and still afraid.

In last Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19) “On the evening of that first day of the week,when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews”  These simple fisherman were afraid also. How many times did Jesus refer to us as lost sheep or as fearful children.  This gospel reading comes after the people had experienced the multiplication of loaves which was yesterday’s readings. The people who had experienced this miracle wanted to make Him king, but Jesus knew differently.  His Kingdom  was not of this world and the Crucifixion loomed over the horizon and His entry in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This version of walking on water does not have Peter walking on water to Jesus, but does have a miracle that no one notices and that is that all of a sudden they arrived at the shore. What happened? The miracle was not that the apostles were not afraid but the miracle was that Jesus took them from fear to safety.

My wife is a three-time cancer survivor. Was she afraid every time? Yes! Was I afraid? Yes! We initially found  out that she had cancer two weeks after we were married. Somehow Jesus brought us through the fear. I was 55 and had never been married and I was scared that having never being married that I would lose a wife. We will not survive this world but Jesus message to us is not to be afraid. Yes we will have bad things happen to us and seemingly not have safety in sight but no matter how bad it gets we have a safety net in our Savior. Just like the apostles in the boat. Jesus brought us through it. However, we had help. We had God-fearing medical professionals and friends that brought us throw it and much prayer.

In Acts Chapter 6 the Hellenists or Jewish converts had a grievance that they had been neglected in the distribution of bread. The result was the apostles fixed the problem through community. They elected deacons to fix the problem and again fear to safety and the result was that  the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly. Fear or discord to safety through community and Jesus.

I am not naive enough to tell you that no matter what happens that Jesus will pull you through it. All endings are not safety here on earth. However, all endings will end in safety thanks to Jesus in our lives and in the lives of the community we serve.

Please pray for a reader whose name is  Laura  who also has (lung) cancer and is a reader of A Catholic Moment. She has two young children and there are no guarantees. I am not sure of the stage or situation. Laura we know you must be scared and afraid. I will repeat the prayer of Mary Ortwein of this week which said “Lord, help me to do my piece.  Help me to know I am doing that by giving me your peace. Then, Lord, give me gifts of perseverance and humility until my work is done.”

We are all here on earth for a reason and will face situations in life that scare us. One of my favorite songs is  ” Be Not Afraid” by John Michael Talbot.

The refrain is

“Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest
.”

Fear to Safety.  Be not afraid. Mathew 28:20  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Good times and bad Jesus is with us always even to the end of the age. This is one of my most precious scriptures. Fear to safety.

 

God Bless

Bob Burford

Readings: Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33:1-2,4-5, 18-19; John 6:16-21

About the Author

My name is Bob Burford and am married to my lovely bride, Anna. I am a cradle Catholic and worship and serve at Saint Paul's Catholic Church in Saint Petersburg, Florida. I am active in the Knights of Columbus and a non denominational Cursillo movement called Via de Cristo. I meet every Thursday with this group and have done so for over thirty years. We discuss our walk with the Lord every week. College degrees in Economics and Accounting. I am semi-retired. I have six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Another great grandchild who is a boy due December 24, 2017. That was a surprise! Love Pope Frances.

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17 Comments

  1. Sister Laura. be strong and do not fear, Jesus is not far from you. I wish you God’s speedy recovery.

  2. Thank you Bob for this INSPIRATION to Laura and those of us in certain predicaments. With GOD every impossibility becomes POSSIBLE

  3. Always great to start the day with the Catholic moment and I am praying for you Laura and children.

  4. Dear Laura, God is healing you already. Courage, He repeats! All things are possible with God. May you receive Healing in Jesus Holy Name. Amen.

  5. Thank you Bob for this comforting message, “do not be afraid”. God is with us always, regardless of what we are passing through. May he help us to trust him always. May he bless your marriage and your wife with good health. I also pray for Laura that the Lord help her through this difficult time and heal her.

  6. Oh Bob!!! Thank you all for your words of encouragement and prayer!!! You really made my day!!!
    My husband and I were crying tears of joy when we read it. It has been a very tough few weeks. I have stage 4 EGFR lung cancer and start treatment this week. I’ve been on chemo for lupus before so I’m prepared for that part. We are currently praying for the intercession of Sister Clare Theresa Crockket and amazing nun in Ecuador who Died 33 Saving young children in the Ecuador earthquake on April 16,2016. (1 year ago since I
    Learned of my mass?!) She needs a few miracles to be a saint and she is close to my families heart since her sister nuns are in our church and she used to be at assumption where I am a parrishoner. I know God is good and I know he is the only one that can unltimately heal me spiritually and physically. My prayer network is beyond words and my condition has already brought a lot of family and friends to prayer. although I have to suffer, bringing so many to the kingdom of God is far more important. I always love reading you reflections on the readings! Keep praying for me. I will keep you and your wife in prayer! God has made me strong and I am going to fight with him by my side.

  7. Just about a week ago, someone questioned why God did not relieve the suffering of “worthy believers.” Laura Kazlas responded to this noting, in part, that it “serves a greater purpose.” Look at how people have joined together–and grown together–over the past two days because of Laura Rellihan. Please see Mary Ortwein’s comments on April 27; she expressed beautifully that Laura R has brought a community together–“a Catholic community that spans continents” to support her and her family. We are praying for you, Laura.

  8. Laura, we are all praying and rooting for you. If you are also seeking some alternative info as an adjunct to your chemo, consider the site thetruthaboutcancer.com. I wish you God’
    s love, peace and guidance every step of the way

  9. Laura, you are an inspiration to all of us. Your faith is so beautiful and strong. Your humble words touched my heart again. May God’s peace embrace you and your family. I pray that your shield of faith protects you always. And Bob, thank you for this wonderful reflection. God have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.

  10. Your reflection brought tears to my eyes. What a great example of how Jesus works through community to reach all of it’s members. Especially the ones who need Him the most. We are all praying for you, Laura R. Living His community of Love is truly what Jesus is about. God bless you all.

  11. Bob ur interpretation have actually touched my heart ,in fact i am over whelmed . God bless u .Laura may God grant u his divine healing .

  12. I, too, am deeply touched by your reflection. I have tears in my eyes as I read it. I pray for peace and comfort for Laura and her family.

  13. Thank you Bob i just find out that i am suffering from anxiety, but after reading this, i know God is at work. May He keep and bless you. Laura we pray for your recovery, be not afraid, the Lord is with you.

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