Saturday April 13, 2024

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

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“And they began to be afraid. But he said to them, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.'” (John 6:19-20)

Good News Reflection for:

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter
April 13, 2024

Today’s Readings:

Acts 6:1-7
Ps 33:1-2,4-5,18-19
John 6:16-21
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

“It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Graciela RamosBy Graciela Ramos, Assistant Director

In Saturday’s Gospel reading, the apostles embark on a simple journey, from one shore to another, but Jesus is delayed and the disciples depart. It was already dark and they were fighting against the strong swell caused by the intense wind. In the midst of this difficult situation, Jesus puts the finishing touch on the situation by scaring them as he approached them walking on the water.

“Do not fear, it’s me,” he tells them when he sees that they are afraid.

When we are struggling with some problems in our life, how often do unforeseen things happen that force us to say, “And now this!”? The “this”, as it turns out, is usually triggering our fears. And Jesus tells us, “Do not fear, it’s me, I am here.”

Years ago, my husband, my four children and I were living in a town where God was rejected. A place where only one Mass was celebrated on Sundays (and not always, we often went two weeks without consecrated Hosts) and where nothing that was related to the Christianity (Catholic or Protestant) prospered. Therefore the Sacraments almost did not exist, and my family longed for them so much.

My twin boys (at that time 12 years old) were being bullied at school. They suffered to the point that one of them was being assisted by a psychologist and the other refused to return to school after having escaped, because he feared the hostile environment.

We did not know what to do. We prayed, asking the Lord, and we didn’t hear anything. Suddenly, one of my children hurt his foot and ended up with osteomyelitis, hospitalized in a nearby town! When we took him to the orthopedic surgeon, we learned that the wound had worsened and, at that moment, his life could be in danger.

“And now this!”

Even more! We had scheduled a vacation that we had to suspend, and we had to spend that Christmas in the hospital, celebrating to the extent that we could (of course Jesus was certainly there).

After much prayer, the anointing of the sick and 15 days of hospitalization, my son recovered and we returned home (not a trace of the infection was left). “Why, Lord, did You allow that situation?”

There is always a “why” and Jesus is right there in the middle of it saying, “I am here, do not fear.” Fear often tries to answer the “why” question — quicker than we hear God. So we must spend time listening for what God is saying, correcting, confirming or teaching us.

The answer to my “why” was simple: The Lord had warned us that the life (spiritual and physical) of our children and ours was in danger in that town where God was strictly rejected and other spirits, not from the Kingdom of Heaven, reigned. So my husband and I made the determination to move to another place. We kept our eyes open to Jesus as he slowly guided us to the city where we would find our next home.

What a great surprise we had! In our new parish, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed 24 hours a day. The Christian life flourished abundantly. And since my family recovered joy and peace.

Thank you, Lord, for the “Do not fear, it is I.” It is You calling our attention to give us back Your peace and joy.

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