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DO NOT BE AFRAID - I AM WITH YOU

Father Francis's picture
Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

There is an appointed time for everything, as today's First Reading tells us. It describes the events in every life and their place in every life. This is the way God has planned it. Each of these is a moment of grace and opportunity that can draw us closer to God, shape our mission in life and enable us to strengthen the community of the Church.

God has the full picture of our lives. All we can see is from moment to moment, as if we are doing a jigsaw and can see only where the piece in our hand goes. But God can see all the pieces fitting together perfectly! What we are called to do is to take each step in our life as faithfully and prayerfully as we know how. We are to trust that even the most disastrous of happenings carries within it a grace from God that will lead us closer to salvation.

The life and the Cross of Jesus is for the Christian the template by which to assess everything that occurs in our life. If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus we will never go astray. He alone will keep us on the path that leads to Heaven.

When Jesus asked His Apostles who the people thought He was, not one of them thought He was the promised Messiah despite the miracles they had witnessed - lepers cleansed, the blind having their sight restored, the deaf hearing and even the dead raised to life. Not one person asked, apparently, whether this extraordinary man could be the Messiah. They thought He could be John the Baptist or Elijah or one of the ancient prophets - but not the Messiah. I find that extraordinary! But then Peter announced that Jesus was the Messiah and He gave them a strict instruction that they were not to tell this to anyone. People were to come to this conclusion themselves.

After Peter's profession Jesus foretold them of His suffering and death. I am convinced that when they heard that He was to die so tragically they failed to hear the truth of His resurrection - for after His death not one of them expected Him to rise.

Lord Jesus, we believe that you are the Christ the Son of the living God, and by our lives we wish to make it known that we are proud to be Your followers.

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