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