Be Not Afraid!
There are many Gospel episodes where Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid. Today’s is certainly one of them. The disciples are instructed that they should not fear any human being or situation in which they find themselves. God alone is to be feared.
Everything is now put out into the open. The earlier practices of secrecy and hiding in fear of being attacked or persecuted have ended. Now the Gospel in its fullness is to be proclaimed far and wide. They are to go forth into the world empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Most of us do not have to worry about having our lives threatened because of our religious beliefs. Yet, there are many in our world who live with persecution and the threat of death. We pray for their safety and religious freedom.
Our daily living also poses many challenges that can scare us. Loss of employment, fractured relationships, broken families, and addictions are just a few. They can be a dark threat to our daily lives. Keeping faith is hard to do when we are going through trials and tribulations, yet it does work.
When all seems lost, when God seems the most distant, this is the time to realize that God is indeed very close to us. We are never alone or abandoned.
That is why our reception of the Eucharist is so important on our journey of faith. It gives us the spiritual strength to keep going, to keep trying one more time. The real presence of Jesus in our lives encourages us not to give up. The joy of the Gospel and the light of Christ has the ability to free us from our fears.
We find strength not only in Communion, but in the fellowship of our faith community. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are a holy assembly, children of the light. Let Christ’s light shine from you and warm those around you.
Learn, Grow, Serve
Join us this summer for a revitalized Theology on Tap Young Adult Speaker Series where you can learn, grow, and serve in your faith! The Archdiocese of Chicago is hosting a kickoff event on the evening of Monday, July 10 at Old Crow Smokehouse River North where you can enjoy free drinks, appetizers, and great company. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich will be hosting the evening, which will feature Father Tom Rosica, media attaché of the Holy See, organizer of World Youth Day, and CEO of Salt and Light TV, and Michael O’Loughlin, author of Tweetable Pope and National Correspondent for America Magazine, as they lead an interactive discussion on what young people have in common with Pope Francis (hint: it’s more than you think!).
I leave this week to see good friends of mine, Dawn and Vince Valdes, who live near Greenville, South Carolina. It’s a beautiful part of the country. I will be spending some vacation time riding through the southern mountains on my scooter.
Fr. Jim Barrett, who is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, will be celebrating the weekend Masses at St. Joseph’s church. You will enjoy his humor and insights.
I also am grateful for Fr. Larry McBrady who will be faithfully tending to the parish when I am gone.