A few days a week I’ve been getting up early and going to the 7:00 am daily mass while Scott and the girls are still asleep. Normally the girls and I try to get to the 11:00 am mass but as their schooling needs have changed so has our schedule. We have a loving and perhaps unlikely community at the 11:00 mass. We miss many of the people there, especially Papa Joe (a dear man whom we’ve adopted and who has adopted us into his family). Joe is one of my few regular readers. If you’re reading this Joe, we miss you. That’s Joe in the photo below.
Although we miss the crowd at the 11:00 mass I’m really enjoying the early mass. It probably has something to do with the quiet drive there, the peacefulness in the pews without a squirming 5 year old 🙂 and of course the sweet presence of Christ. I also think it has to do with giving the first fruits of your day to the Lord. It reminds me of that song verse…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to thee.
This morning the Scripture readings at mass reflected a theme that has shown up in some of my other reading. “Be not afraid.” In the Gospel reading when the storm rages around the disciples in the boat Jesus tells them, Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid! (Mark 6:50). The Epistle reading came from First John, There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…
Lately I’ve been afraid of letting go of some things. They’re things I have absolutely no control over and yet I insist on holding on tightly as if I do have control. Foolish I know. The problem with this is twofold: 1) I’m not trusting Jesus and forgotten that my Father has my best interests at heart and is in control. 2) I’m so busy trying to control my circumstances that I’m not listening to the Holy Spirit. I’ve let my fear of letting go get in the way of love.
I read the following quote from Henri Nouwen last night and it really challenged me.
God asks us to jump from our secure perches, to stop calculating the risks. Jesus bids us,”Take up your cross, follow me, leave even your father and mother if you must. Don’t insist on knowing exactly what comes next but trust that you are in the hand of God, who will guide your life.” We can do so, because we are told again and again in Scripture, Don’t be afraid. Give me a chance. I am your Savior, Guide, Friend, Bridegroom.
First the Nouwen quote and then the Scripture readings, I think God is trying to tell me something. That part about “don’t insist on knowing exactly what comes next but trust that you are in hand of God” really resonates with where I am today. Today I need to offer up my fear. I to need jump from my secure perch and trust that my Savior, Guide, Friend and Bridegroom is in control.
What are you afraid of today?
- Losing a loved ones?
- Not finding someone to love?
- Losing your job?
- Not finding your ideal job?
- Your deteriorating health?
- Giving up your dreams?
- Not being able to pay the bills?
- Being alone?
Jesus says to you and to me, Take courage, it is I, be not afraid.