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Pope: What are your fears?

Pope Francis delivers the Regina Coeli prayer on May 28, 2023 from the window of the apostolic palace

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 06/25/23

Mary, ever Virgin, Mother most Wise, help us to be wise and courageous in the choices we make.

What do I fear? Not having what I like? Not reaching the goals society imposes? The judgement of others? Or rather, [do I fear] not pleasing the Lord, and not putting his Gospel in first place?

The Pope invited the faithful to this self-reflection on this June 25, as he considered Jesus’ invitation in the Gospel: to have no fear.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus repeats to his disciples three different times: “have no fear” (Mt 10:26, 28, 31). Shortly prior to this, he had spoken to them about the persecutions they would have to undergo for the Gospel, a fact that is still a reality. Since its beginning, in fact, the Church has experienced, together with joys – of which she has had many – many persecutions.

It seems paradoxical: The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is a message of peace and justice, founded on fraternal charity and on forgiveness; and yet it meets with opposition, violence, persecution. Jesus, however, says not to fear, not because everything will be all right in the world, no, but because we are precious to his Father and nothing that is good will be lost.

But, the Pope said, Jesus does invite us to fear one thing: throwing our lives away. The Holy Father went on to give examples of how we can throw our lives away, regardless of our vocation or state in life.

“There is a cost to remain faithful to what counts,” Pope Francis said. “The cost is going against the tide, the cost is freeing oneself from being conditioned by popular opinion, the cost is being separated from those who ‘follow the current.’ … What matters is not to throw away the greatest good: life. This is the only thing that should frighten us.”

The Holy Father concluded with a prayer to Our Lady:

Mary, ever Virgin, Mother most Wise, help us to be wise and courageous in the choices we make.

Pope FrancisSpiritual Life
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