I recently resigned after 34 years of working with the mission of the Archdiocese through Centacare Community Services. I am grieving the loss of my mother who passed away following her long battle with COVID-19. I have contemplated my ongoing worth in my work. I worried about what others thought or expected of me and I felt my light dimming as I steadily lost confidence in myself.
Jesus mentions fear five times in this reading. We have so many fears – fear of expressing ourselves, of what others may think, of what others’ do to us, of crime, addiction, war, injustice. How can we not be fearful? God reminds us that righteousness will prevail if we trust in him and be led by his goodness.
Jesus says that “and even the hairs of your head are all counted”, reminding me he cares about me personally, with all my faults and insecurities, he deeply loves me, I matter. I don’t understand how all the things that have happened in my life have led me to this moment. Yet, this Gospel reminds me that things happen in God’s time, not mine, and I don’t have to have the answer for everything. It teaches me to trust in God, that he will look after me, even though I may quiver with fear. I truly trust that his light will shine brightly through me again, in the unknown, in good time. Jesus has no hands but our hands, no ears but our ears, no eyes but our eyes.
This Gospel reminds me that Jesus works through me as I acknowledge and respond to the needs of others. Every day I can do something to make someone else feel loved and valued. In our daily interactions with others, we can do this by small and great acts of kindness, showing care and concern, being there for each other when we most need it and standing beside the most vulnerable in our communities.
I see this Gospel reading reflected in the fearlessness of so many I have journeyed with throughout my time with the Archdiocese. I leave as I began, placing my trust in God, and without fear.