June 21, 2020
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a level of fear and anxiety is rampant in our society. Fr. John Mary’s homily tells us to do not be afraid, but receive graces through our acts of trust and maintain a union with God. Jesus, I Trust in You.
- It is not easy to not be afraid, but Jesus says to be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.
- The devil can be the ONE who wants to destroy our soul, if we let him. So be alert, watchful and resist him by being firm in your faith.
- For those who persevere in sin, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the true living God.
- If we chose by our own will to refuse God’s open door of mercy, we must then pass through the door of His justice (judgement).
- Our most dangerous threat is that of being separated from God, the eternal loss of union with God.
- All good flows from union with God, all bad comes from separation from God. Humbly trust in Him.
Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.” He says, “Be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Who was Jesus talking about? The devil is who wants to destroy our soul and body in hell. He is very powerful and deceptive, but Jesus reminds us of what is most important, union with God, and that is the reason we want to avoid sin.
The evil one wants to distract us with unhealthy fear, but Jesus invites us to trust in Him and be free from excessive, unhealthy fear. When experiencing fear, make the act of trust by saying, “Jesus, I trust in You.” This simple act of trust will help strengthen us against fear.
Fear no one, do not be afraid – we hear those words a lot in scripture – maybe one of the reasons we hear them so much is because we need them so much – it is not easy to not be afraid – there is a lot of frightening things – right not as we go through this corona virus situation, there is a level of anxiety by a lot of people – the level of fear has been pumped up in our society and that is not a healthy thing – action movies are based on fear of death a lot of times – what Jesus says is a very radical message – He says, “ Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul .” – everything about covid is about fear of bodily death – Jesus says not to fear those , which is not easy, but what He is telling us is true – for those who trust Him, what we call death, becomes the passage to going home to the Father – scripture says that Jesus died to deliver all those who through fear of death are subject to lifelong bondage – right now that bondage is especially strong in our country – Jesus says He will tell you who to fear – His expression is kind of unusual – He says, “Be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” – who was He talking about? – He doesn’t say who it is, He just says that is the one to be afraid of – there might be several ways to look at that – there is the devil who wants to destroy our soul and body in hell – he is very powerful and deceptive, but he can only do it, if we let him – so Jesus wants us to be alert and watchful – it says to be sober and watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour – if you knew there were hungry lions at the mission, you would be very alert…scripture wants us to be alert, but now afraid – it says, “ resist him firm in your faith” it doesn’t say to be afraid, it says be alert, watchful, and resist him- devil wants to, but can only do it, if we permit him – so is Jesus talking about God Himself – God is the powerful just judge – if we persevere in sin, we should fear His judgement – scripture says, “ Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord – the Lord will judge His people – it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God – for those who persevere in sin – God is a just judge, but we know He doesn’t want anyone to be condemned – the Gospel says He came not to condemn the world, but might be saved through Him – Jesus says to St. Faustina, “ Let the greatest sinners place their trust in my mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy toward tormented souls. Before I come as a just judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy, must pass through the door of My justice.” – Jesus is revealing He is the just judge, but if we choose, we can experience His mercy rather than His judgement – so we see the devil wants to condemn us, but he can’t by himself – God can, but He doesn’t want to – so who determines whether we are condemned to heaven or hell? – it is our own free will – it is our decision – Jesus is making us aware of the danger of sin – of turning away from God – there is has been a whole effort of trying to make us aware of the covid virus – there has been a whole mobilization of our whole society against this virus – an extreme efforts and sacrifices – businesses shut down and people dying alone all to fight this virus – so it is important that we be prudent and take appropriate measures for our own health and the health of others – yet, the chances of dying are still 100% – we haven’t found any cure for death, yet – we don’t want to die before our time, but we know we can’t avoid death – Jesus is making us aware of a greater danger, the danger of sin – also sin isn’t always real visible – we don’t always experience its effects right away – sometimes at the time it is happening, when we are sinning, things seem to be going great – the effects are only experienced little by little with time – so the Church’s role to make us aware to mobilize us as Jesus is doing in the Gospel against a much more dangerous threat than the corona virus – what if our society extended the same effort and resources to make us aware of sin – how many powerful resources in society are being mobilized to cause us to fall into sin – Jesus is mobilizing people against what is most dangerous – we only have limited time and resources – it is important to realize what are the most dangerous threats to us – where do we have to be most careful? – the most dangerous threat that Jesus is talking about is being separated from God – eternal death – Jesus wants to give us a healthy fear inspired by love for God of not wanting to offend Him or lose Him – making us aware of the greatest loss is eternal loss of union with God – this is not a call to fall into scruples – Jesus doesn’t want us to be scrupulous – He wants us to trust in His mercy – this is the flip side of something extremely positive – what really matters is union with God – life can be very complex and confusing – all sorts of people telling us all sorts of things that we need to think about and be aware of – so it is helpful from Jesus to get a very clear, simple response – a response to what is most important in our life – number one priority for all of us – whether we know it or not is union with God – all good flows from union with God – all bad comes from loss of union with God, separation from God – if we humbly trust in Him, we will be eternally united with Him with no more fear ever – St. John says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” – fear is always a struggle, but the Lord is telling us what is most important – these acts of trust “Jesus, I trust in You” draws graces for not just each one of us, but helps other people, who might be oppressed by fear – so in this difficult time, all that is going on with all the ways the evil one is trying to distract us can cause excessive fear, unhealthy fear – Jesus is reminding us of what is most important which is union with God – that is why we want to avoid sin – on this Father’s Day we want to celebrate God our Father – He invites us to trust in Him – and to be free from excessive, unhealthy fear – when experiencing fear, make the act of trust by saying, “Jesus, I trust in You” helps strengthens us against fear –