29 April 2017: Facing fears

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Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Reading 1: Acts. 6: 1-7; Ps. 33: 1-19; Gospel: Jn. 6: 16-21

The disciples travelling by boat are frightened of the ‘ghost’ walking on the lake.  Each of us is frightened of our own ‘ghosts’.  Fear is a good thing; it keeps us active and agile.  But when there is excess of it, fear paralyses us.  It is in such crippling fears that the Lord helps us.  It is not through some magic that He does this.  Rather He empowers us with His presence: “It is I. Do not be afraid.”We only need to truly feel His presence for any fear to depart from us.  Just like a child or a pet, even though it feels frightened of darkness or strangers, feels emboldened in the presence of a loved one, Jesus builds up our strength.  With Him at our side, the battle has only begun.  To expect Him to fight our battles is laziness.  To think that I alone can do it is foolishness.  To feel His presence and face fears is wisdom.

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