12th Sunday: Do not be afraid -Trust in God!  Matthew 10:26-33

In today’s Gospel, Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” If God is that attentive to the sparrows, He is even more attentive to each of us. In this powerful message, God gives us a tremendous sense of peace and confidence!

As human persons, we all have our own fears, anxieties, and worries.  Sometimes, we are afraid that we will make the wrong decisions. Other times, we are afraid of what others will think when we speak about our faith, family values, and culture of life. Sometimes we are afraid and worried about what will be the future of our children and grandchildren. Very often we are fearful and concerned about our own health issues and the sickness of our family members. Lastly, we have the fear of living alone, dying alone, rejection, and failure.

Now we are living in a very challenging world with war, violence, hatred, and many divisions.  During this critical and challenging time, Jesus is telling each of us, “Do not be afraid.”  There is always a hope-filled life for those who believe in Jesus.  St. Mother Teresa very often said, “It is easy for us to depend on God in our ordinary life situations, but our real faith lies when we totally depend on God in our most challenging situations.”

Recently, I heard a very meaningful story: A pastor had been flying on a long-distance flight, and suddenly heard and saw a warning sign on the airplane flashing: “Please fasten your seat belts.” There was a terrible thunderstorm with lightning, the airplane was shaking and tossing. The pastor saw that the passengers were afraid, some started screaming and shouting, and some of them started praying. Then, the pastor saw a little girl sitting quietly and reading a book peacefully and without any worry or fear. The pastor could not believe, seeing this little girl’s calm.

The plane finally reached its destination, and all the passengers were hurrying to get off, the pastor spoke to the girl, and he asked why she had not been afraid. The girl replied: “Why should I need to be afraid, my Daddy is the pilot, and he is taking me home.” There are many kinds of storms beating our lives: physical, mental, financial, and many other storms that easily darken our lives and throw our lives into uncontrollable turmoil.  Let us remember our Jesus is our pilot, and He is in control and taking us home!

Let us have faith and trust in Jesus. What are the challenges, struggles, anxieties, worries, and fears we are going through at present in our lives, let us offer them to God and surrender to His will.  Only God can give us real peace and Joy in our lives.

For the believer, there is no need to worry!  Someone said, “Do not be afraid to face difficulties; they will push you forward.”  “An arrow goes forward only after being pulled backward.  So, let’s not be afraid to face our challenges and difficulties. They will push our lives forward.  Do not be afraid – Trust in God. God is our shelter and our strength, always ready to help us in times of trouble!  Let us remember St. Pope John Paul II’s advice: “Do not be afraid”!

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