Friday of the 18th Week
Matthew 16: 24-28
Feast Day of Saint Clare
What do we fear today? Fear can be anything like the dog next door, losing someone or fear of ourselves. I think our readings today help us to know what to do when fear comes in.
In our first reading from Deuteronomy, the people are ready to enter the land that has been promised to them by God. They have been wondering in the desert and hearing so much about this land, and now they are ready to embark upon it. Moses gives them great instruction to calm their fears and their anxieties about entering this land. He tells them never to forget what God has done for you. God has calmed all the storms in your life, he has calmed all the fires, and he has been there for you all along the way. The biggest line in vs. 35, “All of this was so you would come to know, there is only the Lord God, and there is no other.” Take comfort my friends and release our fears, there is no other God but our God.
In the Gospel, Jesus is trying to rid fear from the disciple’s life by having them face their fears. Jesus tells them. “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.” This would have been probably the most terrorizing thing Jesus could have said to them. We need to remember; the Romans perfected crucifixion. It was such a horrible death that the Roman people would not talk opening about the crucifixion, it was too barbaric. Imagine today a parade, and the purpose of the parade is not to show off all the good that a town has done but to show off all those who have committed crimes or thought to be a threat to Rome. To carry your cross would be to bring great shame and guilt on the person.
Jesus is inviting the disciples to this type of fear, so they will be ready to give up everything right now for him, so if it happens, they will know no fear and put their trust in him.
Our Eucharist is offered to us, to rid of us any useless kind of fear. May we are strong in Christ and know no fear.