Monday, June 13, 2005


LUKE 12:1-7

One only has to take a casual look at the headlines of our daily newspapers to get a dose of fear and anxiety. The same words surface in seemingly endless repetition – rape, murder, corruption scandals, cronyism, gambling lords, drug smuggling, kidnapping… What does the future hold in store for our children and grandchildren, many of who are still too young to understand these words, much less comprehend the gravity of the present situation? Even in our own private worlds, we have our daily crosses to bear … sadness of separation from dear friends and relatives, loneliness of a new challenge in far away lands, false accusations from an ungrateful friend or employee, illnesses, or unexpected death in the family. Wherever we turn, we get the impression that the forces of evil appear to be getting the upper hand. How do we cope with all these forces? Why does God seem to allow evil to happen?

The words which Jesus spoke to his disciples, and which He is now addressing to us, should provide strength and consolation. "…do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. Be afraid of the one who, after killing, has the power to cast into Gehenna." The disciples knew that they would also share the fate of Jesus. But their love and their faith in Him, gave them the strength and encouragement to persevering until the end.

Our daily lives provide testimony to the inescapable truth that pain, suffering and death are a part of life. But by remaining faithful to the Lord and following Him even in the face of adversities, we make sense of suffering and have the strength to transform it to sacrifices. We become participants in the redemptive work of Jesus. There is no salvation without the cross, no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. The promise of our Lord, as mentioned in today's first reading, gives us the encouragement to face the daily adversities that we may meet. "He is the pledge of our inheritance, the first payment against the full redemption of a people God has made his own, to praise his glory."

Let us not be afraid!

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