Monday, June 26, 2017

HOMILY Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time June 25, 2017

          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.
          However, we read in the First Letter of St. John, chapter 4, verse 18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear ....
          Perfect love drives out fear.  If we could love perfectly, we could drive out all fear from our hearts.  But that is a pretty tall order.  Fortunately, the love with witch Jesus loves us is perfect.  It is total and complete.  And so it drives out fear.  This is why St. John in the very next verse states: “We love because he first loved us.”  
          Brothers and sisters, the more we can open ourselves to the love Jesus has for each of us, the more we can love in return, and then we will be so strong, so powerful, that we can let go of fear.  We are, each of us, God’s beloved children.  So do not be afraid. 


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