Meditation for the Day

Wednesday After Epiphany, January 8

May We Place Our Unwavering Trust in Our Most Loving and Merciful God Amidst the Storms of Anxiety and Apprehension We Encounter in Life.

In our First Reading today, we hear John writing to his audience speaking about the emotion of fear with the words, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.”

And then we hear in our Gospel Reading for today, how, after seeing a figure of someone walking on the wind-blown seas next to their boat, the disciples cried out with terror. And our Lord reassured them with the words, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

Fear is a normal human reaction, an emotional response to something which we perceive as a tangible or realistic danger to our personal well-being, whether our well-being takes the form of emotional, physical or spiritual matters. Fear takes upon itself many different shapes and colors, but it is almost always the result of something which we perceive or believe to be threatening – even if, in all reality, it is not.

In the case of the disciples in the storm-tossed boat, their anxiety level was probably already elevated due to their efforts in attempting to cross the Sea of Galilee against the wind. And sailors have always been known for their superstitious beliefs. So when the Apostles are startled by noticing a shadowy figure passing across their bow at night, they cry out thinking it is a ghost!

Even today, the world can be a frightening place in which to live. With terrorists attacking and killing people at random, children’s and teachers’ lives ended as a result of unstable and armed individuals entering schools in different parts of the country, the ravages of nature’s storms increasing in intensity harming both life and property, nuclear and biological weapons in the hands of unstable governmental regimes, and so many other elements which can affect our lives negatively, the temptation to give in to fear for a person who is without faith is powerful indeed!

What, if anything, is there to prevent us from succumbing to such paralyzing or worrisome fear? One thing only, and that is absolute and total confidence that our Lord walks at our side at all times, and never leaves us as orphans! He is the true Oarsman, the true Captain of the vessel in which we find ourselves sailing through life, for it is He who controls all the elements which affect our daily pilgrimage!

If we listen carefully in our moments of uncertainty, we can hear Him speak to us as He did to His disciples in today’s Gospel, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” For people of faith, we can take comfort in the fact that our Lord is constantly reassuring us of His providential Love for His children, even in the midst of all that we find occurring in today’s world.

And our First Reading reassures us of this fact, “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us…”

Our relationship with our Eternal Father, our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our relationship with the Spirit of Truth and Love – should be based upon a total surrender of ourselves, trusting completely upon His providential care and His Loving Presence in our daily lives. For it is this total surrender wherein we find Perfect Love – God’s Love for us and, in turn, our love for God.

But we also know that we are imperfect human beings, with our inherent weaknesses which are a normal part of our humanity. If “perfect love”, as we read in John’s Letter, casts out all fear, at least our imperfect love can help us to recognize our need to grow in placing our trust in God more and more.

A bookmark that Saint Theresa of Avila kept in one of her books read: “Let nothing trouble you; let nothing frighten you. All things are passing; God never changes. Patience obtains all things. He who possesses God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

And God will bless us in our efforts to grow in our relationship of love with Him. And if we ask with a sincere heart, He will give us His Spirit to help us in our growth of faith. For as we read in John’s Letter, “This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit.”

The Christmas Season has offered to each of us a time of reflection and renewal. With an open heart, this Season fills us with joy and peace as we experience God’s Love in a very real and tangible way in our lives. And in our relationship with each other, it is only natural that we share this love, imitating the Love which the Father has given to us.

When we find our lives being tossed about by the stormy winds and waves of life’s uncertainties, as were the disciples in today’s Gospel, we need to let today’s story touch our hearts. Just as Jesus assured His disciples in the midst of their fear, He will also give to each of us the courage we need by reminding us that He is always near, and, therefore, we too have nothing to fear.

The invitation to both you and me is to place our unwavering trust in our Most Loving and Merciful God – today and in every storm of anxiety and apprehension we encounter in our daily lives.

For perfect love will truly help us conquer all our fears.

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” (Mark 6:50c)
  • “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. In this is love brought to perfection among us…” (1 John 4:16-17a)
  • “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
  • “…call on me on the day of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.” (Psalm 50:15)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not.” (Proverbs 3:5)
  • “Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? …Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Matthew 6:27, 34)
  • “For I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” (Isaiah 41:13)
  • “How great is your goodness, Lord, stored up for those who fear you. You display it for those who trust you, in the sight of all the people.” (Psalm 31:20)
  • “This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit.” (1 John 4:13)
  • “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 1:13)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Christ Jesus,

when all is darkness

and we feel our weakness and helplessness,

give us the sense of Your Presence,

Your Love, and Your Strength.

“Help us to have perfect trust

in Your protecting Love

and strengthening Power,

so that nothing may frighten or worry us,

for, living close to You,

we shall see Your hand,

Your purpose, Your will through all things.”

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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