“Be not afraid,” says the Lord.
If our faith is real, it is at times such as these that we are compelled to draw strength from the faith we profess in our God. When we read from the Bible God’s exhortation to “Be not afraid”, our faith in God’s advice is tested. How do we stay “unafraid”?
One answer is that we draw on the Gospel values that are the foundation upon which we ought to make decisions and to know how to interact with others. And Gospel values are not merely words on a page—Gospel values are in fact a person: Jesus. In living out Gospel values, we ask, “What would Jesus do?”
It is a common human response in times like this to blame God for the situation (usually in the sense that God’s punishment is being meted out to a godless and sinful group of people). Also, lately, you may have heard comments such as “God will protect me.” God has not caused COVID19, nor will God directly cure it. This is a man-made situation and it now demands a man-made solution. And God will be present in the man-made solution when humanity manifests God’s presence through acts of kindness, care, compassion, and love. We are called to be God’s instruments of good.
If we keep reminding ourselves and each other to ask this question, “What would Jesus do?” then we will be bringing God into the equation. We will be allowing ourselves to be God’s healing instruments in the world. In the year in which we focus on the Benedictine values of Peace through Justice and Stability, let us be active peacemakers. Let us also be stable: founded on Gospel values—that is to say, grounded in the person of Jesus. Stability is about what is enduring and true; stability is about retaining and relying on that which is most important. With God in the equation, there is hope.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator