In the 1986 horror movie, The Fly, there is the line, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” This phrase has since entered the common parlance, since it captures a very real emotion. “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
There is much to arouse fear in us. There is a plethora a reasons to keep you awake at night. Rogue nations with nuclear weapons. Terrorists with biological weapons. Hackers stealing your passwords and all your money. Irrevocable degradation of the environment and natural disasters. Cancer. Politics. And more.
So the phrase “Be afraid. Be very afraid” can ring all too true.
Our Gospel today takes a totally different approach. In the Gospel we just heard Jesus tells us: “Fear no one.” A little later He says: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” And still later, “So do not be afraid.”
Do not be afraid. OK. How do you do that?? By a shear act of will? I can’t do that. Can you? I don’t think so.