12th Sunday in Ordinary Time | Year A
So do not be afraid of them. Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops. 'Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.
Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven.
Jesus has a strong message to his disciples – do not be afraid. In the psalm for this Sunday there is the same calming and reassuring message – “from all eternity, O Lord, you are. Truly your decrees are to be trusted”.
Fear can deter us from doing things which we know in our hearts we are being called to do. Uncertainty can generate fear, as can previous experiences which have resulted in some form of harm.
But being afraid need not translate into giving into fear and being paralysed by it. Faith can triumph over fear if we are prepared to listen to the Holy Spirit, and remember that we do nothing alone. Reflection and prayer can help us to pinpoint the cause of our fear. What am I actually afraid of? Knowing the source of our fear helps in deciding whether the perceived danger is real and if it is, whether we can manage it.
Stepping out in faith is an act of trust in God. It opens up our full potential and takes us to new places, emotionally, spiritually and sometimes physically.
“Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” St John Paul II