19th Sunday http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081119a
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
I came across this quote a few years ago when I read Spenser Johnson’s book “Who Moved My Cheese?” and it has been a favorite ever since. Identifying fear as a limitation to action has proven helpful. When I am reluctant to do something that I need to do, or consider positively a change, I ask myself, “what am I afraid of?” This internal dialogue has proven helpful in overcoming inaction.
This week in the Sunday readings we hear about fear, and faith. Jesus begins the Gospel with, “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock.” Fear seems to have captured his followers and they were reluctant to embrace the Kingdom. Rather they placed their all their trust in things known to them, familiar things like possessions and money.
Luke sound a familiar note heard last week about accumulation of material possessions to the detriment of being “rich in what matters to God.” This week Luke mentions divesting oneself from belongings and donating alms which provide “an inexhaustible treasure in heaven” and concludes that Gospel section with, “For where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.” If your heart is occupied with earthly things you accumulate earthly treasures, and if you heart is possessed with things of heaven, then there is your treasure.
🔷What are you afraid of? What do you need to do but are hesitant because of fear?
🔷What do you treasure most? Do your actions support your words here?
🔷Are you “rich in what matters to God” and do you have “an inexhaustible treasure in heaven?” Can you name what matters to God? What gets in your way in building this heavenly treasure?
If fear is one side of a coin, the flip side of fear is faith. The letter to the Hebrews gives a definition of faith and an illustration of what faith looks like in the choices and decisions and life of Abraham.
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.”
“By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country.”
“By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age—and Sarah herself was sterile—“
“By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son.”
Faith literally guided every step in Abraham’s journey. He did not hesitate to trust God’s direction as he abandoned the familiar to follow the unknown path.
🔷 Where is God leading you? Are willing to go and not look back?
🔷 What foreign land/activity has God invited you to travel in?
🔷 What can you produce-generate now (regardless of age) that God is asking of you?
🔷 What sacrifice is God wanting from you?
🔷 Are you willing to abandon the familiar and embrace the unknown that God has in store for you?
Giving into fear stifles faith, and leading with faith abolishes fear.
Fear and faith, two sides of the same coin.
Now…flip it… heads…tails… you’re it!