Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday word, 08 Oct 2007

Monday, 27th Week (08 Oct 2007) Jon 1.1-2. 1-2,11; Resp Jon 2.3,4,5,8; Lk 10. 25-37
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Fear Transformed

The story of Jonah is one of God inviting Jonah to speak the divine word to people who did not believe in the God of Abraham, and of Jonah’s reluctance and great fear to do that.

Sometimes any of us uses our fear to convince ourselves not only that we cannot do our evangelizing Christian mission; we also convince ourselves that God cannot work through us. Jonah shows us that both notions are folly. Jonah also shows us that our efforts to limit God, to render God powerless are futile.

In no way I am I saying to ignore fear. I speak of fear, which is a warning-feeling towards someone or something questionable or unknown. That’s what the well-known phrase, fear of the unknown, describes.

Side by side with it are feelings, which tug at our hearts and draw us to act. Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan illustrates that. Do we ever consider the fear the Samaritan had when he came upon the man, whom [robbers] stripped and beat...and went off leaving...half-dead?

Do we allow ourselves to consider the fear Jesus felt, especially in the face of his death? Indeed the New Testament suggests it was more than caution: Jesus was terror-stricken!

I suggest that we never deny our fear. That would deny our humanity. I suggest we recognize it and that we ask the Good Samaritan, and Jesus, too, to work through our fear and transform it into energy, which will enable us to be clearer witnesses of his gospel.
Wiki-image of the Good Samaritan is in the public domain.

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