Jeremiah, Chapter 1, verse 8:
8 Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
An interesting thing in this verse, is the use of the word presence. Worldly people are masters of presence or the projection of power. When called do not fear powerful people for is not God greater than the world? Give it to God, let him take control for our Lord will empower us and deliver us to accomplish his word just like he did Jeremiah and all the Saints. We for our part must be, ready for change, for God will prepare us for the challenges of our calling. We must be open to the promptings of our Lord and be willing to give up any of our own masks of presence or false images of power we may have developed over time.
We may have over time, found ourselves projecting a presence, which is actually just an overreaction to our fears and self-doubts. Let us follow the advice of Father J. Brian Bransfield and realize: To find the depths of our identity we must pass through our fears.
Jeremiah in this chapter received the call of God and he was afraid. Jeremiah as a young man who felt inadequate to do the call of God. Moses although a much older man, like Jeremiah, when he received the call of God also felt inadequate. It was the same with Peter when he received the call from our Lord Jesus felt insignificant and cried out, “Leave me Lord. I am a sinful man.” (Luke 5:8b).
The lesson here is that when we are called it will be scary. Christ asks us to not be afraid. The perfect example of what our attitude to the call should be was the attitude of Mary at the annunciation when God called her to be the mother of Christ. Mary’s fiat was "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1: 38).
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