Be Not Afraid

“Be not afraid,” this was the message spoken by Pope Saint John Paul II when he became pope in 1978 … He continued to use this phrase…repeating this message….throughout the entirety of his pontificate throughout the 1980’s and 90’s… and then into the 2000’s. He used it especially when speaking to crowds of young people… at World Youth Day…. It was his motto…his slogan for Christians everywhere… It was a radical message. He was asking us to abandon ourselves to God…and turn away from the ordinary…the average everyday … ‘comfort zone’ areas  we tend to live in… He later said, that this message was to remind us, that we have nothing to fear…we have been redeemed by GodReflections: Matthew 19-21 - Rich Young RulerHe was using this message to inspire us to turn away from the comforts of the world…from our belongings, which if you think about it, wind up owning us more than we own them. Even though this phrase is so often linked to Pope Saint John Paul II, it is nothing new…it is the same message that Jesus spoke of when He came to share the Good News about His Father and Heaven… As in Matthew 19:21, when Jesus says to the young wealthy man who had come to ask Him what he needed to do to be saved, and Jesus replied “go and sell everything and follow Me”…

It was a message that resonated in the hearts of the young people all over the world…I was one of those young people who heard the message and wanted to follow the call. I was sure that the Pope was talking to me… I even remember  at one point I told my mom I wanted to abandon the things of this world and run off and join a religious order…Like most mothers, she flipped out and gave me a list of excuses a mile long as to why this was a bad idea. It was very discouraging…and disappointing on one hand… But, understandable on another.  I was her child and she was afraid… like the young man whom Christ spoke to, she found security in tangible things… material things…and the lifestyle of a religious, offered none of these things… in an attitude taken by so many parents… she wanted more for me…she wanted me to be something…to make something of myself… Unfortunately, this is a very common theme that comes from the parents of young people who want to explore a religious vocation.

Being fearless is a radical idea. Even in this day and age. It makes most of us uncomfortable to even think about it. Most people think of Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal as fearless… at least the people my age… I don’t know who is considered fearless nowadaysBut most of us have been manipulated by the world…manipulated by the devil into thinking that we should be afraid…That unless we are a master in the martial arts, that we should just  settle for the ordinary… and not risk anything or take any chances…

Like I have said countless times before…the devil is a clever manipulator…. He will whisper lies in your other ear, while God is whispering His plans for you, in your heart. He wants us to abandon the greatness that God is calling each of us to be. Yes, I mean each of us. You and me. We are all called to greatness. Again, I have to stress, it may not be great big worldly greatness... On a level that will bring us accolades and praise the world over… No, God is calling us to the specific greatness He has created in each of us…in whatever capacity that might be. Surprisingly though, this greatness is often more than each of us will ever realize. So many of us have created for ourselves a comfort zone of excuses that keep us mediocre. We garner a list that stretches out forever, of all the reasons… all of the ‘why nots’…that keep us safe and settled, and we pull this list out on nearly every occasion that God might be calling us to live out this greatness…to live out His greatness…

These excuses and lists may keep us relatively safe, but they also keep us average and ordinary. They keep us looking at situations that go by, as things that could have been… Looking at opportunities that would sing of God’s glory, we pooh pooh them…And  instead, we cling to our fears… both real and imagined…and we hide, under this blanket of fear. Where we are smothered.  The Light of Christ needs air…”Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.” (Matthew 5″15)  And before we realize it, we have looked at these situations… these moments of daring, when God was calling us to action. Whether it be a moment of charity or maybe to perform a simple act of kindness… or perhaps a missionary journey, or whatever He was calling us to, and we view these promptings of the Lord,  from the perspective of the ‘ordinary Joe’Not from the perspective of a saint. And our life… this precious gift from God, has past us by. And we will have very little in our hands to offer the Lord at the gate. Remember, nothing in this life is easy. If it is, you may not be following God’s plan…you may just be doing it all wrong.

Take the sacrament of marriage. When a couple gets married, they are encouraged by the world to go all out…spend a fortune...“It’s your day,” as they say…. But then for the next stage, when it comes to the number of children, they are constantly told that one or two  is fine.  They are constantly reminded of their obligation to the world… Any more than the status quo, and you’re rocking the boat. You’re crossing the line. You’re taking up too much space…. But as Christians we need to remember our obligations are to the Lord… ‘Be not afraid.’ Be radical. Let the number of your children be a proclamation to the world that indeed there is a God. Let your children be a beacon of  God’s glory in this dismal self centered world. Let the size of your family be a sign of contradiction to the world. Pray about it, and be not afraid…there will be naysayers in every generation. Don’t become one of them.

What we need to realize as we go through our lives, is that, we will be afraid. We will fail. And we will struggle. And sometimes regardless of our best laid plans, things will fall apart in our hands.  Things may crumble all around us. But God will be there. Every inch of the way. Giving you the strength to make it through another day. Giving you the courage when you just want to throw in the towel and wipe your hands of the whole affair…God will be there…as the ‘Footprints’ poem says…He will be there holding you up when you are too weak to stand on your own…and He will carry you if needed… but you have got to be all in. Fearless and unafraid. And for that kind of grace, we need to pray. And we must always strive to remember to live our lives in union with the Lord, allowing His perspective of us to guide our every action… our every word…. in every situation. With Christ’s message of  “Be not afraid”, let us approach all of our endeavors with another motto that also comes to us from the God’s Holy Word : I can do ALL things through Christ Who strengthens me”. (Philippians 4:13) Amen.



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5 Responses to Be Not Afraid

  1. loveinthefield says:

    Thanks so much for your always encouraging and ever-insightful thoughts.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. J.M.J.all4 says:

    WOW! You are such an amazing writer, and I have only just begun reading your post. You have encouraged me quite a bit through your writings. God has given you a gift, and you are using it quite well!:) Your writings are getting me through a tough time right now, and a couple of times your writings, have moved me to tears. God is VERY proud of you, I am absolutely sure of it! You are such an amazing writer, I can’t stress this enough. Thank you so much for all of your AMAZING writings.

    God Bless,


    • mikatsa6 says:

      Thank you so much for your extremely kind and encouraging words. At different points in our lives we all face difficulties and moments when we feel like the whole world is crumbling down…but God is always there…constant in His Goodness…constant in His Care. We just need to open our selves to His very Will. God Bless.


  3. I’ve seen footage of these worda from JP2. They’re so inspiring considering the hurdles facing in Poland against communism and massive amounts of abuses and human rights violations. He was really agreat orator and had a great way of convincing the world through the power of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and the Church. His message of not being afraid carried an immense reassurance to a weary people. Thanks for your amazing post!

    Liked by 1 person

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