Fear and Sin

Matthew 10: 24-33
Isa 6:1-8 / Psa 93

So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
(Matthew 10:31)

With sin our fears will never cease,
The threat of death is always near;
What else in life can bring us peace,
None other than a conscience clear!

Jesus said, “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known… Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. ‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10: 24-33)

Reflection

What our Lord Jesus is telling us in today’s Gospel is that the only thing to fear in our life is being separated from the love of God. As long as we are in His good graces, fear should have no place in our heart. Of course this is easier said than done, because being human, we have the tendency to be anxious or afraid about many things in life. But Jesus assures us that we are precious in the eyes of God, far more than any of His creatures on earth. And for as long as we acknowledge Him as the Central Figure in our life, then He will increase our faith, and our stronger faith will drive away all fears.

Jesus’ enemies tried to malign Him with the lie that His powers came from Beelzebul. But He assures us that we have nothing to fear from liars, because the Truth will always prevail. “Nothing covered will not be uncovered, nothing secret that will not become known.” A member of our running club, whose wealth had gone to his head, thought that he could hide his extramarital affairs from his wife. An older and wiser member commented, “You cannot hide the smoke when you’re building a fire.” And guess who was going to get burned later on? And even if he was smart enough not to get caught, the fun or pleasure couldn’t be worth the constant anxiety of being discovered. And that fear is nothing compared to the fear the fellow should have of “Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Fear and anxiety are unnecessary baggage that we can discard if we only strive to live a life of truth. Peace reigns in a person’s heart who has a clear conscience. Nothing in this world can give us true peace (or happiness); it can only come from being righteous in the eyes of God.

Teach us, Lord, never to be in fear of anything as long as we abide by all Your laws. Keep us from ever falling into sin so that we will never be anxious or afraid again. Trusting in Your loving mercy, keep us always pure and obedient. Amen.

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