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There are many ways of looking at the problems of the world today. There are many ways of analyzing how to solve these problems. Our three readings for today propose an answer: the greatest obstacle, the greatest disability that the world faces today is that we are a world growing more and more in fear.

Fear paralyzes us. It prevents us from loving. It leads us to mistrust. It forces us to protect our own turf. It entices us to put up exclusive societies and organizations so we can protect ourselves from those we do not know, from those who can abuse us. Fear can numb us. It can prevent our hands from becoming hands that reach out, and turn them instead into clenched fists.

There are two great fears in the world today. The first one is the fear of death. We are all afraid to die. If I ask you, “How many of you want to go to heaven?” you will all raise your hand. But if I ask you, “Who wants to die?” nobody will raise their hand. We want to enjoy life; we want comfort. We want life everlasting, but we are afraid of death and sacrifice.

Death is what the first reading and the Gospel are talking about. The Lord says to us in the first reading that God did not create death. Death is a fruit of sin. It is the work of the devil in us. The plan of God is not death. God did not die on the cross so that we will die. God died on the cross so that we may live.

The second fear stalking the world today is poverty. We are afraid to be poor. We are afraid that tomorrow we will not have anything to eat. We are afraid that tomorrow we can get sick and we will not be able to afford the cost of the medicines. We are afraid that tomorrow we will not have a house. We are afraid that tomorrow we will not have enough.

So what do we do? When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, are you not aware that we say, “Give us this day our daily bread?” And yet, we are afraid. Why? It is because we want to change the prayer of Jesus into something like this: “Give us today our daily bread, and also our future bread.” But Christ’s concern is not for future bread. God will take care of tomorrow for us.

Whether it is fear of death or fear of poverty, the answer is the same. The cure to fear is not more courage. The cure to fear is trust. The Lord says to us in the Gospel that fear is useless. What is needed is trust. And St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians tells us, “Trust. Your abundance in the present time should supply the needs of the poor so that in the abundance of the poor, there may be equality.”

The opposite of fear is not courage. Let me remind you this: there are some among us who are courageous and yet they are afraid. There are some among us who are bold, who are willing to take risks. But oftentimes their being bold and adventurous comes out of fear. The opposite of fear is not bravery. The opposite of fear is trust. Fear is useless; what is needed is trust.

FEAR NOT
Mk 5:21-41
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Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

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