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The Grip of Fear

I’ve broken a significant rule over the course of the pandemic... watching the news. Prior to mid-March, I mostly avoided the news. It can (and mostly is), depressing, partisan, and divisive.

However, given our current circumstances, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest information and regulations. If nothing else, it helps to know what is and isn’t required, open, closed, and the like.

However, what should be a unifying time in our country has instead become (at least through the lens of most media) an even more hyper-partisan, finger pointing, blame game echo chamber that serves no purpose.

Make no mistake, ALL are guilty... all sides, all political ideologies. No one can claim the high ground.

So why is this? Why, during a time when the entire country should be coming together to support one another, do we seem to be more divided than ever?

My opinion... fear. Leaders fear getting it wrong, being blamed, losing power. Citizens fear the unknown... economic, health, familial and community impact, safety. As a member of an inner circle of priests, I can say pastors fear “normal church” being gone forever, losing connection, not being able to adjust to “new times”, and failing.

No matter what perspective one looks upon our current life, fear can and often does infect our thoughts, and when we see it amplified on tv and social media, it becomes contagious. Fear leads to hardness of heart, and that, brothers and sisters, is far more threatening than any virus or disease that may come our way.

Isaiah 35:4 says, “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.’”

As uncertainty continues, as each day seems to extend an already anxious time, as the unknown appears to have no end, and as fear prowls around each of us like a roaring lion, remember that nothing, NOTHING, can separate us from the love, protection, and forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus. We are already saved because of the redeeming love of our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit walks before, with, and behind us, saving us eternally from all peril.

Be strong! Fear not! God’s love will sustain you in all things!

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. May the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, keep you safe and make you strong, this night and always. Amen.

Fr. Brian+

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