Sirach, Chapter 2, Verse 15-17
15 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his words; those who love him keep his ways. 16 Those who fear the Lord seek to please him; those who love him are filled with his law. 17 Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts and humble themselves before him.
“Perfect love casts out all fear.” Many of us are conscious of our sins and failures. The older we get, the more we become aware that we have not measured up to what God had in mind for us from all eternity. We begin to worry about Judgment Day. Fear. Even when we are younger, if we have a good conscience, we worry over our sins. Remember that God loved us so much that he sent his Son to save us. Remember that Jesus gave his life for each of us personally. Remember that God is not like us: He loves us with an everlasting love. We need to realize this love of God so that it will cast out all fear from our hearts. We must not be presumptive, but we must be appreciative.
The gospel scene reflects a little bit of Jewish folklore. Remember the musical “Fiddler on the Roof?” When they thought a ghost appeared, they shouted and screamed to drive the ghost away. This is what happens in the gospel: The disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost. They were terrified and cried out: This means that the screamed and shouted in order to drive the ghost away. But Jesus says, “Do not be afraid; it is I!” Jesus is always with us. We may not see him or feel him, but he is always present to help us through the storms of life. Do not be afraid. Perfect love casts out all fear!
I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God. (Helen Keller)
Today is the Twelfth day of Christmas. The Twelve drummers drumming represent the twelve points of the Apostles Creed. It is interesting to note that these 12 points are indeed pointing to the abode of God and that our Lord is the gate of heaven.
- I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
- I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
- He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
- He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
- He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
- He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
- He will come again to judge the living and the dead
- I believe in the Holy Spirit,
- the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
- the forgiveness of sins,
- the resurrection of the body,
- and the life everlasting.