Be Not Afraid
A Reflection on Mt 10:26-33
By Bro. Ron Calderon
Are you afraid? Afraid of your future, of oppressive forces in society, of losing your job, of going bankcrupt, of getting sick, of becoming lonely, or of dying?
Let’s look closer at fear. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, fear is an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. Psychology tells us that it is a primitive human emotion that humans feel naturally. Fear can also be understood as a biochemical response to perceived danger or trauma that triggers what we call the “fight or flight reaction.” This instinctive reaction is a human response to spare us from harm or death.
So when you look at it, fear in a way is important for our survival as a species. But too much of it could also prevent us to reach our potentials, especially with regards to our infinite possibilities in the eyes of God.
Good thing we have Jesus as our model and guide to conquering our fears. If we look at the gospels, we could see a master of courage. Jesus showed bravery in:
*His confrontation with the devil at the desert for forty days;
*His departure from his family and home in Nazareth, leaving behind people and places that protected his childhood;
*Proceeding to the mission entrusted to him by the Father by only trusting on the generosity of people for food and shelter;
*Speaking candidly against the temple leaders of his time;
*Facing the accusations against him;
*Facing his sentence of crucifixion even with his own knowledge that everything he did were all based on the will of God;
*Facing his brutal death naked and alone, with friends abandoning him.
Probably there are many more unwritten acts of his courage not found in the bible.
Indeed, Scripture tells us that following Jesus could help us overcome our fears.
Also, when we look at the gospels, we could see some of his secrets why he has a courageous spirit:
*He kept a good relationship with his mother;
*He always worked with his friends;
*He showed love and mercy to all, especially those who are marginalized, like the poor and the sick;
*He rested when his body is tired;
*He consistently obeyed God the Father;
*He kept a calm disposition (we only know of single incident when he got angry);
*He constantly prayed to God.
Moreover, the gospel passage today reassures us that through Jesus we could even bravely conquer death and be in the eternal favor of God’s grace.
Jesus said, “...do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” This is an implied assurance that the spirit of all who believe in Jesus will not experience the destruction of their soul. Moreover, our Lord says: “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”
Let us pray to the Father through Jesus Christ so that we could conquer our fears and bravely live a courageous Christ-centered life.
All-powerful and ever-living God, bring our heart closer to Jesus so that we may face life with courage and live a purposeful life with our loved ones always with love and mercy for others. Amen.