Afraid at Night, Uneasy at Daylight

by | Jun 16, 2020 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus is and will always be with us until the end of the age. We put our trust in him and in his words when we are afraid.

Jesus tells the Twelve that no disciple is above his teacher. That is to say, those who are like wolves will call them names and speak ill of them. But they should not be so afraid that they do not do their task.

No, they must not be afraid of people who may hurt them. Their threats should not sadden them to make them back out. For they bring blessing, not curse. They should be happy, since their reward will be great in heaven. And they will be among the prophets, like Jeremiah; these suffered due to the forebears of those who will harm them.

Such is the raw deal that awaits those who will announce the Good News from the rooftops. For as they see to it that the Light of the world gives light to all, they become easy targets. Easy targets, yes, for those who prefer the dark to light since their works are evil (Jn 3, 18-20). They will share the fate of their Teacher whom the world sees not (1 Jn 3, 1), and seeks to harass besides.

The disciples, yes, will follow their Teacher. Like him, they will put their trust in the Father. Providence cares even for sparrows that sell for little. It meets the needs even more of those who are worth more than many sparrows.

Those that Jesus sends keeps on, afraid or not afraid.

Faithful followers do as their Teacher; the more he sweats blood, the more earnestly he prays (Lk 22, 44). As with him, being afraid, or distrust of one’s own strength, is the basis of trust in God (SV.EN III:143; SV.EN V:166).

Trust in the Father, then, stops true disciples from turning paralyzed with fear. So, their courage is but “fear that has said its prayers.”

So, for these disciples, religion does not free us from fear. Nor is faith “an easy cop-out for … cowardly … people.”

Surely, it is hard to follow Jesus, but he helps us (St. Augustine). His Spirit will lead us to all truth, and so we shall be fully free (Jn 16, 13; 8, 32). No wealth, name, fame, welfare, health, interests, neither sound, safe nor at ease, no righteousness or salvation even (Rom 9, 3).

We shall be so free that we will have nothing to lose (Janis Joplin).With nothing, but full of Jesus (SV.EN I:276; SV.EN XI:311), afraid and brave at once by his overflowing grace. But not just free from (Lk 1, 74) what we are afraid to lose. But also free for (Lk 1, 75) the call to preach, heal and give of ourselves as in the breaking of bread.

Lord Jesus, do not let anything we are afraid of take us away from your love and our calling. You acknowledge us before your Father; grant that we acknowledge you before others.

21 June 2020
12th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Jer 20, 10-13; Rom 5, 12-15; Mt 10, 26-33