'Do not be afraid': God will lead us safely
"Do not be afraid" seems to be a command or words of consolation that we hear throughout our lives.
One morning long ago I was preparing an elegant tea party for my saintly black-and-white terrier - a dog that is surely in heaven after a lifetime of playing dress-up and tea parties.
I was about ready for us to have our "tea" when I decided that I'd had my fill of imaginary cookies. On the silent march to procure the real thing from the cookie jar, I heard my parents discussing something called "three in one" and that perhaps I needed this new thing.
Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8
in Ordinary Time
(Sunday, Feb. 4, 2007)
Psalm 138:1-5, 7-8
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
My dad broke the news to me. I was going to get this new "medicine." I shouldn't be afraid. Suspicion reigned. We would have to go into town three different times to get it. The very fact that my dad was the messenger in this scenario signaled red alert.
Into the doctor's office we walked. I again had been assured not to be afraid. Why the nurse wanted to rub my arm with alcohol was a mystery. I offered my arm. Then just as I was distracted, the nurse plunged a gigantic needle into my arm. My screams rocked the office. Lost in my own suffering, I never would have guessed that when my dad said there is nothing to fear, he was speaking out of his own fears for his only child.
We often hear a variation of the words "Do not be afraid" from people who love us or have our best interest at heart.
What emotions or memories arise in you when you hear the words "Do not be afraid?"
Name a recent time when your faith in God's promised reward helped dispel your fears so you could serve the Lord.
In Luke's Gospel Jesus assures Peter, James, and John with these familiar words after they bring in the most astonishing catch of fish. Jesus knows that when they lay down their nets and follow him, their lives never will be the same because becoming fishers of men will become a rewarding as well as a dangerous occupation.
For some it will mean prison or execution. Ultimately, they, along with the countless millions who will answer Jesus' invitation, will be strengthened by his words of counsel, "Do not be afraid."
This column is presented in cooperation with the North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.
This week's readings
Week of February 4 - 10, 2007
Sunday, February 4, 2007
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Is 6:1-2a, 3-8
Reading II: 1 Cor 15:1-11 or 15:3-8
Gospel: Lk 5:1-11
Monday, February 5, 2007
Memorial of Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr
Reading I: Gn 1:1-19
Gospel: Mk 6:53-56
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Memorial of Saint Paul Miki, martyr, and his companions, martyrs
Reading I: Gn 1:20--2:4a
Gospel: Mk 7:1-13
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Reading I: Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17
Gospel: Mk 7:14-23
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Reading I: Gn 2:18-25
Gospel: Mk 7:24-30
Friday, February 9, 2007
Reading I: Gn 3:1-8
Gospel: Mk 7:31-37
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Memorial of Saint Scholastica, virgin
Reading I: Gn 3:9-24
Gospel: Mk 8:1-10
Pope's Prayer Intentions
February General Intention
Just Distribution of Resources. That the goods of the earth, given by God for all people, may be used wisely and in accordance with justice and solidarity.
February Mission Intention
Fight Against Diseases. That governments of all nations may cooperate to fight diseases and epidemics in the Third World.
Prayer for St. Raphael Cathedral
Whose word is like fire,
who spoke to Your servant Moses in the burning bush;
who led Your people Israel out of bondage
with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night:
hear Your people as we call upon You
in both need and gratitude.
May the Cathedral fire purify Your Church
in the Diocese of Madison
so that our hearts may burn with the knowledge
that Your Church is built upon the bedrock
of Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the intercession of Saint Raphael,
Your messenger of healing,
in union with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,
and with our Bishop, Robert C. Morlino,
may we find comfort in our affliction
and the courage to proclaim
the Good News of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.
For more prayer resources visit the Office of Worship's Web page at www.straphael.org/~office_of_worship/
(Click on the link on the main page.)