Three-hundred and sixty-five times, once for each day of the year, the Lord commands us in the Bible: "Do not be afraid" (Lk 12:4). Pope John Paul II has repeatedly proclaimed, prayed, and prophesied: "Do not be afraid." Although Satan tries to use fear to manipulate and even to enslave us (Heb 2:15), we can overcome the temptations to give in to fear. We can overcome not because we are strong, but because Jesus is our Strength and we believe in His love for us.
As we prepare for the beginning of the third millennium, the Church has called us to celebrate 1997 as the year of Jesus. Jesus is the GoodShepherd. Though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil for He is at our side (Ps 23:4) and even within us (see Jn 6:56). Jesus is the Light of the world. He is our Light and our Salvation; whom shall we fear? (Ps 27:1) Jesus is Love (1 Jn 4:16), and "Love has no room for fear; rather, perfect love casts out all fear" (1 Jn 4:18). Jesus is God. He is perfect. Know Jesus; no fear!
Prayer: Father, may I only believe and not fear (Lk 8:50).
Promise: "Blest is the man to whom the Lord imputes no guilt." —Rm 4:8
Praise: Ignatius advised his flock: "Turn a deaf ear to the talk of anyone whose language has nothing to do with Jesus Christ."
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997
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