Daily Reflection
April 29th, 2006

Beth Furlong

School of Nursing
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Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena

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

Every society has certain populations who are oppressed by the dominant population – and, I see that dimension here (as I spend a semester as a Fulbright Fellow in Hungary) as well as knowing that it happens in the U.S. and most countries. I am called to remember and visualize Jesus’s statement – “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Why do we fear, denigrate and derogate someone? Why do we oppress another? Make fun of him? I think, in the core of our Being, I (we) are afraid – that I could be the Other – the one who is the minority, the one who is poor, the one without the job, the one who is unable to support his family. At an unconscious level, we must know we are so close to being the Other that the easiest way for us to cope is to deny our fears, and not to recognize the Other as Jesus approaching – “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

“Do not be afraid.” This four month journey in Hungary has provided me an opportunity to face many fears and to walk through them:

Can I survive, and, more importantly, thrive in a country and context that takes me completely out of my comfort zone? The answer is a resounding Yes!

Can I deal with unknown crises that might arise?

These were just some of my fears.

But, there are many more fears that I (and we) each face – I am daily called to demonstrate my faith and to meet the fear and to walk through it. This four month journey has given me strength, competence, and confidence of moving through future fears. And, when the next fear arises in me, I will think of this Gospel reading – “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

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