Be not afraid

Posted: 6/16/20 | by | Category: Ordinary Time, Reflections, Uncategorized

“…LIKE A MIGHTY CHAMPION MY PERSECUTORS WILL STUMBLE, THEY WILL NOT TRIUMPH. In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. O Lord of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart, let me witness the vengeance you take on them, for to you (I have Entrusted my cause. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!” (Jer 20:10-13)

Be not afraid! Fear not the insults, threats or denunciations others will throw at you. Let them talk behind your back. Let them utter every insult they can think up. Your own life and that of every human being is pure gift. Even those who insult you, betray you or manipulate you are human beings. They are your brothers and sisters. Sadly, all too often, the deep yearning, thirst or heartfelt desire for peace, purpose or self-acceptance is denied to some people. They want to have what their neighbor or relative might possess. They might desire the status, power or influence another person might have. Or, maybe they simply do not like their own self. Whatever the cause or root of their misery might be, our dear and beloved Lord calls you, me and all who freely choose to walk in His footsteps to respect, accept and forgive those who trespass against us. No exceptions to this command expressed by Christ.

Be not afraid of those who might use their fame, fortune or power to assault your character, reputation or daily efforts. Unless you are running for public office, there is but one very important voter whose strong support you truly desire: That voter is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you can allow others to speak down about you, cast lies and innuendos, and even strive to defame you. Then, and only then, will you truly obtain the graces, blessings, courage, perseverance and steadfast faith needed to rise from the ashes of defeat. One by one and over time pick up one solid stone at a time and rebuild your own life…a life of blessed and humbling daily discipleship; a daily way of living through service unto the least among us, and a life deeply rooted in your deep abiding love for our Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Insults are nothing more than syllables brought together to form words and words are connected in thoughts and another’s thoughts can be callous, indifferent and very insulting. Nonetheless, words are hot air coming out of one’s mouth. When these pieces and sounds of words are vexations, then, you freely, knowingly and willingly ask our dear Lord to enable you to receive, put aside and ignore such hostile, insulting or threatening words. Be not afraid! Rather, in prayer, deep within the very depth of your being you will discover and rediscover the holy presence of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Christ will always prevail over human insults and hot air. Give your haters the forgiveness, mercy and love God gave to you. Do this throughout your finite lifetime. In the end, when the angels of the Lord come into your company to bring you closer and into the company of our dear Savior, you can know with full certitude that you did the best you could do. Sure you failed at times. But success was yours for the asking.

Our Lord hears your prayerful cries and grants you a lifetime filled with countless blessings, greater faith, greater hope and greater love. Be humbled by such Divine Mercy. Never let human words and vexation distance you from Christ. Forgive those whose words hurt you. Do not return hatred with hatred. Be not afraid! Rather, be willing to love those who might not even like you. In the end, you will have given this unearned God-given gift of life your best. This is what our Lord asks from all of us: Forgive those who trespass against you and let go of the past. Peace

-Father Michael Briese