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Daily Mass Reflections - 10/19

Updated on October 19, 2021

“ not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more
.” ~ Luke 12:4

On a day when Jesus implores us to let go of the needless worry and useless anxiety that strafes and stifles our spiritual development, we celebrate the Feast Day of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues and their Companions, North American martyrs who courageously laid down their lives in order to bring the light of Christ into the lives of others.

Since our Gospel (Luke 13:1-7) does in fact center on this notion of fear, it affords us an opportunity to reflect upon that which we fear the most. Spiders and snakes aside, most would undoubtedly say that they fear the death of the body. Jesus, forever with his gaze on eternity and the glorious heavenly splendor he has planned for each of us, tells us not to worry about those who can only affect the body. The Saints we celebrate today were savagely and sadistically tortured and knew they would be; their gaze was on eternity.

In one of his many now famous prayers, Saint Padre Pio would oftentimes begin by saying “Oh my Lord, my greatest fear is that of losing you, of offending you.” Among his many great gifts was a keen sense of priorities, inspired no doubt by countless hours spent in Prayer and Eucharistic Adoration.

In his morning Gospel Reflection, Bishop Barron discusses the oftentimes misunderstood concept of fear of the Lord. He says “All of the body’s goods come to nothing compared to the supreme good of life with God. Therefore God alone should we truly fear. Doing his will should be our exclusive concern. Let me state this more positively. When I am in love with God, when I am "fearing" him above all things, I am rooted in a power that transcends space and time, a power that governs the universe in its entirety, a power that is greater than life and death.”

Fear of the Lord coupled with fortitude in the face of life’s challenges are of course Gifts of the Holy Spirit. At all times should we “ask so that these gifts may be given to us seek so that we shall find them, and knock so that the door will be opened to us.” Persistent prayer. The Sacrament of Communion. Eucharistic Adoration. These are but a few of the many gifts available to us.

Saints John de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues and their equally brave companions evangelized courageously because they knew that God in his glory would lead them to victory. They were utterly fearless in the face of those who could “kill the body“ for they knew full well they the larger battle had already been waged and won. In the battle of good versus evil, Satan versus Jesus, the outcome was stunning. Jesus emerged victorious. it wasn’t even close.

So it goes for us. He or she who sides with God will not fail to win every encounter. Whether the result be joy or sorrow, failure or success, death or life, you can know with full and total confidence that the ultimate victory shall be yours. So be fearless. For when you find yourself staring into the eyes of Satan himself, you can rest assured that he finds nothing more terrifying than fearlessness. The fearlessness that comes with being a beloved child of the King.

“God, we pray that our hearts would learn how to rightfully fear you. We bow before you, acknowledging you as Lord and Savior of lives, praising you for your might, your sovereignty, your power, your strength, your mercy, and your justice. We thank you for your unending love even when we are undeserving. We stand in awe of you. We surrender our hearts to you. We put you first, Lord.” ~ Amen

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57


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