1 John 4:11-18; Ps 72 Lord, every nation on earth will adore you; Mark 6:45-52
Below you will encounter snippets of the words of St. John's first letter we read from during today's liturgy.
"We have come to know and believe the love God has for us."
"In this is love brought to perfection among us, that we have confidence on the day of judgment because as he is, so are we in the world."
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love."
What creates fear in our lives? Of what are we afraid?
Why do we fear?
Could it be as simply put as St. John describes it…"one who fears is not yet perfect in love."
Does he mean our love isn't perfect? If that were the case fear would hound us 'til the day we die.
But that can't be the case. Then what?
Perhaps it means that we have not yet convinced our selves of God's love, God's perfect love for us. This alone must be the cause of fear.
And it is true. Were we totally convinced of God's love for us then fear would be replaced with confidence and peace regardless of the circumstances of our life.
Here is what Pope Francis has to say, "There are Christians whose lives seem like Lent without Easter. I realize of course that joy is not expressed the same way at all times in life, especially at moments of great difficulty. Joy adapts and changes, but it always endures, even as a flicker of light born of our personal certainty that, when everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved. I understand the grief of people who have to endure great suffering, yet slowly we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress: 'my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is…But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness…IT is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord' (Lam 3:17,21-23,26)"
How many Lents must we endure before we finally except the reality of Easter? How often must we peer in to the empty tomb before we are awaken to the truth: love is stronger than death? Apart from death what is there to fear?
Of course Jesus says its best in the gospel today, "fear not, it is I, do not be afraid."
Lets meditate on that for a moment or perhaps many moments.