Commentary on the Gospel of
“Do not be afraid.” A phrase, that all who have faith in God the Father and his son Jesus Christ, should take comfort in. This phrase, or some close version of it, can be found in at least 147 times in both the Old and New Testament. Some Biblical scholars put the number even higher. These same words where uttered by Saint John Paul II the Great at the beginning of his pontificate. So, as I sit writing this reflection, I keep asking myself “why is this written down so repetitively in Scripture?”
Both readings today clearly state that if we have faith in Christ and believe, we have nothing to fear. So why do I and most people I know need to be reminded of this on a regular basis? For myself, I intellectually know that all things are possible in God. As a loving God, he only has my best interest at heart. That’s the rub for me. My idea of what's best often conflicts with God’s. I’ve had my share of Doubting Thomas moments. I recently returned from the Holy Land. Being where Christ was born, lived, walked, performed miracles, was crucified on the cross and most importantly rose from the death to redeem all of us was a tremendous boost to my faith. For me “do not be afraid” has taken on new meaning after experiencing the footsteps of God so closely. I am just praying for the courage to step out and fully put myself in Christ’s hands.