Daily Reflection
October 15th, 1999
Kathy Kanavy
Institute for Priestly Formation
Romans 4:1-8
Luke 12:1-7 

“I say to you who are my friends:  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and can do no more.  I will show you whom you ought to fear.  Fear him who has power to cast into Gehenna after he has killed.  Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Are not five sparrows sold for a few pennies?  Yet not one of them is neglected by God.
In very truth, even the hairs of your head are counted!
Fear nothing, then.  You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.”     Luke 12:4-7

In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly guides us to look at the fears we carry in our hearts.  Perhaps surprisingly, He doesn’t deny our fears;  rather Jesus shows us clearly what to fear and what not to fear.

He speaks first of a fundamental fear, fear of death.  How stark it is to our ears that we should not fear those who can kill the body and do no more.  Isn’t that enough?  We hold life most precious and yet Jesus invites us to “die to” our fear of death that we might drink in real freedom.  Through the power of His resurrection, death has “no sting” for it has no power over us who believe.  Jesus calls us to know the freedom that He has won for us.  But there’s more.

In utter love, He confronts evil and challenges us to know the responsibility of our free will.  He doesn’t tell us to ignore all fear, but rather He asks us to reverence a “holy fear”, the power we all possess inside ourselves to say “no” to His Love, His Truth, His Life.  What should we fear, according to Jesus?  That which separates us from His Love.  Other than that, nothing!  If only it was that simple for us.

And so, the divine physician who has come to heal the sick assures us how deeply we are cared for in love, even to the point where each hair of our head is counted.  How often we wonder if God understands, if God knows what’s happening.  He assures us that nothing is unknown or unloved.  This depth of love, far greater than we can even imagine, is what underlies His desire for us to “fear nothing.”

The invitation to you and me today is to bring all our fears to Jesus, for everything is already known and loved.  In the midst of those daily fears which He wants to relieve, He asks us to give them to Him.  We only need to ask for the grace to bring all our fears to His heart.  He is eager to heal them!

“Do not be afraid, I am with you.
I have called you each by name.
Come and follow me, I will bring you home.
I love you and you are mine.”              (David Haas)
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