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Saturday, July 10, 1999

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Genesis 49:29-33; 50:15-24
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-7
Matthew 10:24-33

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fear not

"So do not be afraid of anything." —Matthew 10:31

"Now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became fearful" (Gn 50:15). "But Joseph replied to them: 'Have no fear' " (Gn 50:19). Then Joseph said again: "Have no fear" (Gn 50:21). In today's Gospel reading, Jesus commands us three times to have no fear (Mt 10:26, 28, 31). The Lord in the Bible commands us 365 times to have no fear — once for each day of the year. One of Pope John Paul II's most frequent and emphatic words of prophecy is: "Do not fear."

When we give in to fear, we let ourselves be manipulated into choosing death rather than life (see Dt 30:19). Fear keeps us wandering in the desert rather than entering the promised land. By giving in to fear, we delay the fulfillment of God's promises and may even delay His final coming (see 2 Pt 3:12). Through fear, we become spiritually contraceptive and abortifacient. We refuse the abundant life (see Jn 10:10).

We overcome fear by totally committing ourselves to the Lord (see Ps 27:1). We fight fear of people, circumstances, and life with the fear of the Lord. In the fear of the Lord, we are "never alarmed, never afraid" (Sir 34:14). When we decide to love the Lord completely — in every area of our lives — we cast out all ungodly fear (1 Jn 4:18). Fear of God and love of God displace other fears. Do not fear.

Prayer:  Father, the Spirit You have given me is no cowardly Spirit (2 Tm 1:6-7). Make me free, bold, unmanipulated, unintimidated, and fearless.

Promise:  "Whoever acknowledges Me before men I will acknowledge before My Father in heaven. Whoever disowns Me before men I will disown before My Father in heaven." —Mt 10:32-33

Praise:  Amy, a counselor, regularly volunteers her time to work with alcoholics and addicts, bringing them the good news of Jesus and introducing them to the great hope of new life in Him.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998