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Sunday, June 23, 2002

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12th Sunday Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 20:10-13
Romans 5:12-15
Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35
Matthew 10:26-33

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know jesus — no fear

"Do not fear." —Matthew 10:28

Jesus gives us at least four commandments in today's Gospel reading:

  1. "Do not let them intimidate you" (Mt 10:26).
  2. "Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul" (Mt 10:28).
  3. "Do not be afraid of anything" (Mt 10:31).
  4. "Fear Him Who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna" (Mt 10:28).

We are fearless of men because we have the fear of the Lord (Sir 34:14). The fear of the Lord is not only the beginning of wisdom (Ps 111:10) but also of faith, which leads to love. When love is complete, it casts out all fear (1 Jn 4:18). Thus, the grace of fearlessness comes from fear of the Lord, faith, and love.

The Lord has not only commanded us to be fearless of men but has shown us how He will give us the grace of fearlessness. We must cooperate by:

  • renewing our Confirmations in which we received the fear of the Lord (see Is 11:2-3),
  • growing in faith through hearing God in His word (Rm 10:17), and
  • growing in love through purifying ourselves "by obedience to the truth" (1 Pt 1:22).

Be fearless in Christ.

Prayer:  Father, make me miraculously courageous.

Promise:  "If by the offense of the one man all died, much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound for all." —Rm 5:15

Praise:  Patricia had been afraid of nearly everything until she began reading the Bible and learned Who her Father is.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Fear of the Lord and Evangelization on audio AV 59-3 or video V-59.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 4, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 10, 2001