September 5, 2021
“Thus says the Lord:
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!”
— Isaiah 34:4a
Brothers & Sisters,
Rarely does telling someone, “Be not afraid,” actually work. Trust is crucial to calm fears or anxieties.
This past week on the first day of school, most students eagerly approached their classrooms, at a minimum, because they would once again see their friends. While most of us appreciate the change of pace of summer break, we find ourselves grateful to get back into familiar routines.
Yet, for a few of our younger students, fear absolutely cripples them. They cling to their parents as they try to drop them off. The unfamiliarity with their teachers, classmates, and school building certainly contributes. To minimize these anxieties, schools usually host an open house for younger and new students. So, along with their parents, they can visit their classroom, meet their teacher, and meet new friends from the class.
The prophet Isaiah points to reasons why the people should not be frightened. Despite the difficulties and challenges in life, Isaiah describes God’s many miracles, including restoring sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf. God cares for all his people.
If we open our eyes to the presence of the Lord and actively listen to his voice, God proves his trustworthiness. In the face of fears that cripple us, even us adults, God is always the answer. While confidence in God won’t eliminate all fear (I’m still afraid of heights), trust in God helps remove the obstacles for us to BELONG so we can participate in community gatherings and organizations, in ongoing studies, and the acts of charity and service.
Join me this week; let us lift in prayers all those crippled by the devastation, hurt and loss around them. Including our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan and our US Troops, as well as those who have experienced recent natural disasters, may we thank God for those voices who reassure us and strengthen our trust in God.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett