John Connelly


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - August 7, 2016
Wisdom 18.6-9 | Psalm 33 | Hebrews 11.1-2, 8-19 | Luke 12.32-48
July 25, 2016

In this week's Gospel, the words of Jesus to his disciples should encourage us all: "Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom."

We all have fears. Fear of death. Fear of being destitute. Fear of not being loved. Conscious fears and unconscious fears.

I remember as a small child checking to make sure no monsters were hiding in my closet. I was afraid some unnamed fear was going to sneak up on me when I was alone.

Fear causes tension. Fear causes us to be afraid and withdraw from God and others. Modern science has discovered that stress-related illness is one of the leading causes of death. Fear hurts us mentally, spiritually and even physically.

People and corporations make millions of dollars selling prescriptions for our fears. Drugs, programs, seminars and material comforts all offer us ways to deal with fear.

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -

'Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.'

Luke 12.34

Jesus shows another way. He says we can let go of our fears. He tells us we are beloved children of God and that Our Father is pleased to give us his kingdom.

The kingdom of God is free. It cannot be earned, but it can be received whenever we trust in Jesus. It is a kingdom of peace, freedom, mercy and compassion. It is a living experience of the ever-present love of God.

If we sit still right now we can choose to be in touch with the loving presence of God. Just relax for a minute and meditate on this: "I am loved completely and totally right now. The Father is pleased with me and he freely gives me his kingdom."

We really are loved. The kingdom is really ours right now. We are royal and beloved children of the King of All.

In Mass today, the choir sings these words, "Rejoice and be glad. Blessed are you, holy are you. Rejoice and be glad. Yours is the kingdom of God."

When we recognize that we are loved, joy and hope begin to come alive in us.

Faith is believing and acting upon the truth of God's revelation to his people.

Abraham and the prophets trusted God's Word even when their emotions, feelings and thoughts tried to contradict the truth. Scripture reveals who we are and who God is in relation to us. When we let go of our fears and choose to trust God and his divine revelation, we open ourselves to a new way of being.

This fall Mother Teresa will become a canonized saint. We know from her personal journals how much she struggled. But she always chose to trust Jesus even when her personal sense of God's presence was lacking.

She said, "Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."

We are loved. The Father is pleased with us and gives us his kingdom today. Let us put our faith in that eternal fact and rejoice.