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.
Ben Sira gives a stern warning to those who compromise their faith in time of affliction; they fail in courage and trust and therefore have no security (vv. 12–14). But those who fear the Lord through obedience, reverence, love, and humility find his “mercy equal to his majesty” (vv. 15–18).
“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. 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!
49 Godly Character Traits
As we near the Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:
Attentiveness vs. Unconcern
Showing the worth of a person by giving undivided attention to his words and emotions (Hebrews 2:1)
2716 Contemplative prayer is hearing the Word of God. Far from being passive, such attentiveness is the obedience of faith, the unconditional acceptance of a servant, and the loving commitment of a child. It participates in the "Yes" of the Son become servant and the Fiat of God's lowly handmaid.
Deep calls to deep… (Ps. 42)
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