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FEAR NOT
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, 28th Week of the Year, October 19, 2012
Eph. 1:11-14, Ps. 32, Luke 12:1-7


"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Luke 12:4-5).


We, the followers of Christ, are not to be afraid of giving witness to him. We are not to fear those who will smile or laugh at us for our witness. Rather we are to fear Christ who will deny us before the angels of God if we deny him before men. "And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9). We should never be ashamed of Christ or of doing his will, "‘for whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38).


Our time is the time to give witness to the gospel before men without fearing their judgments against us for our witness, for if we do not give witness to the gospel out of fear of men, we then have to fear Christ who will deny us before his Father for not giving witness before men, for denying him before men.


Jesus could not reveal everything openly during his lifetime, because his paschal mystery, which saves us, had not yet taken place, and no one would have understood his teaching; nor would they have believed it, because his resurrection had not yet taken place. But after Pentecost-our time-is the time to preach the gospel with clarity. Now is the time when all that was then secret is to be made manifest. "What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops" (Matt. 10:27). This is our task now for the good of all who will hear us.


The truth, if it is proclaimed, has great power and will be victorious over the falsehood that is heard in the world. The truth has power precisely because it is true, and because what is opposed to it is false, without truth, without substance, without reality. Falsehood is like the shadows that vanish when the light shines. Light always conquers darkness. The darkness cannot overcome the light while the light is shining. So will be our witness to Christ in the world.


We are to give witness to the central core of our faith, the core of the gospel, the good news of our salvation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to justify us and save us from our sins by his death on the cross and give us new life in the light of his resurrection. This is what we are to proclaim from the housetops. The proclamation of this truth, of this message, is the gospel, the good news that the Church is to preach. To preach this is evangelization. It is also the New Evangelization that we need today for those who have lost their faith.


The truth that we proclaim without fear is that "Christ died for our sins" (1 Cor. 15:3) to make perfect reparation and satisfaction for them, to expiate them (1 John 2:2; 4:10; Rom. 3:25) by his death, suffering in his death the punishment for all sin (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13) in order to free us from this punishment and from our sins, removing our guilt from us, especially through the sacrament of reconciliation (John 20:23). This is the central core of the gospel that we are to preach. This is the New Testament faith, and this should be central to our preaching-not peripheral. The act of communicating this message is evangelization. It is a liberating message that frees us from the weight of guilt and gives us the freedom of the children of God.


We are never to be ashamed of this liberating message, which is the gospel. Rather we are to preach it in the light and proclaim it from the housetops, confessing the Son of Man before men so that he will confess us before the angels of God.

 

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