Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“Fear no one.” — The words of Jesus from today’s Gospel according to Saint Matthew are so strong! We can only be free from fear if we truly believe in the Lord, and live for everlasting life.

The first reading today is from the Prophet Jeremiah. He had lots of people trying to end his life and to make his life difficult if he lived. He tells us that even his friends had been working against him. Yet he knows that God is with him and that he need not fear. Of course, sometimes his enemies made his life difficult. So to have God with us is not magic and we can still encounter very difficult situations. But if our trust is in the Lord, we know that in the end, all shall be well. That end may be after our death! But the challenge is simply to cling to the Lord!

The second reading today is from the Letter to the Romans. This reading tells us that sin has entered the world through one man, Adam, but that through another man, Jesus the Christ, the grace of God and the gracious gift of Jesus Christ overflows for the many. The message is the same: sin and evil will not triumph in the long run. Rather, God will triumph and will vanquish all sin and evil. To cling to this promise of the Lord is the challenge of our spiritual life!

Today’s Gospel is from the Gospel of Matthew. We return to the words of Jesus: “Fear no one.” In today’s world, we Christians are more and more likely to encounter problems. The values of Jesus, the teachings of Jesus and of the Church, are now being shunned in our world and called into question.

We should not want to abandon our faith in order to avoid being rejected, mocked, scorned and judged by others. Most of us want a simple and quiet life to live in peace. That simplicity and quietness may well be taken away from us today. The challenge for us is to hold fast to the words of Jesus: “Fear no one.” That also means that we must cling to the teachings of the Lord Jesus without any fear or even without concern for what may happen to our lives.

Let us be ready to walk with the Lord to suffering and death, rejoicing that we are found worthy to suffer for clinging to the words and the teachings of the Lord Jesus.

Father Jesus