Saturday 14th Week of the Year
Fear of the Lord is the same gift that Jesus had in his heart when he endured all of his blows and scourging, and that enabled him to carry his cross and die on it on Calvary.
Once again Jesus is encouraging his disciples
to remain faithful to him under all conditions,
In these nine verses of today’s gospel,
Jesus mentions three times for us not to be afraid.
Is it just human bravery
that has enabled so many followers of Jesus
to become martyrs for their faith?
Without a doubt, martyrdom
is a grace and takes great courage.
One of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit is Fear of the Lord.
We received this Fruit of the Holy Spirit
in the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Building upon human bravery,
we have such reverence and awe of the Lord
that we would do nothing to dishonor him
in thought, word or deed.
His holy fear in our hearts gives us the courage
to stand up against any foe.
We are so much in the divine presence of God
that anything a human being
could do to us is of no importance.
“No servant is greater than his master.”
Fear of the Lord is the same gift
that Jesus had in his heart
when he endured all of his blows and scourging,
and that enabled him to carry his cross
and die on it on Calvary.
It was holy fear that empowered him to cry out
“Father forgive them;
they do not know what they are doing.”
A holy fear of the Lord enables us and strengthens us
to respect and honor God in all circumstances,
whatever it may cost us in this life.
It also teaches us that justice and reconciliation
can never come through violent acts, emotion or words.
St. Francis DeSales said,
“Nothing is as strong as gentleness.”
“When you encounter difficulties and contradictions,
do not try to break them,
but bend them with gentleness and time.”