Scripture Reading:Psalm 16:8 .
So many are the fears of man. I have heard many Christians say: “I am just afraid…”. The simple truth is this: God has not created us as beings to be slaves of fear. What we are usually afraid of, are not what should ever cause us to fear in the first place. Fear is one of the tools the devil uses in snatching us away from the path of truth. The devil instils fear in us and we lose faith in God. One of the characteristic feature of God’s encounter with the people of Israel was to erase fear from their hearts. God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord God, am with you wherever you go.” (Jos. 1:9). The same was the encounter of Gideon with God. “But the Lord told him, Peace, Don’t be afraid. You will not die.” (Jdgs. 6:23). This was also true of God’s encounter with Jeremiah. “Do not be afraid of them, for I will be with you to protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jer.1:8).
God has always been in the business of dispelling our fears. Our scripture reference today says: “I am always aware of the Lord’s presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me.” (Ps.16:8). David was aware of the Lord’s presence around him and therefore there was nothing to be afraid of. He knew that with God by his side, not even his enemies, both internal and external of his kingdom can oppress him(Ps. 23:4). A true Christian does not live in fear, but in faith because he has God for his heritage. The presence of God around him is all he cares about. Once he has God around him, all other things are settled.
O child of God, you have no need to be afraid, because, “You have made the Lord your defender, the Most High your protector, and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home.”(PS. 91:9-10).St. Paul says, “For the Spirit that God has given you does not make you slaves and cause you to fear; instead, the Spirit makes you God’s Children, and by the Spirit’s power we cry out to God, ‘Father! My Father!’”(Rom. 8:15). The Holy Spirit in you has taken charge of your worries and cares The Scripture says, “There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.” (Lk.12:32).
MASS: VIOLET: Sir 48: 1-4. 9-11b; Ps 80: 2ac and 3b. 15-16a, 18-19(R. 4); Mt 17: 10-13ADVENT WEEKDAY
1. Praise the Lord for His mercies that endure forever.
2. Pray seriously: Lord, every element or seed of fear that has been planted by the Devil in my life be uprooted right now by the power in the name of Jesus.
3. Take the prayer “Invocation of the Power of God and Declaration inAmen: It Is Done page 60.
4. Thank the Lord for the answers to your prayers.
Exercise: Tell at least five persons about the 21-day fasting programme starting 2nd January, 2018.