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Luke 12:1-7

“… so many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot.  Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples…”

People are being trampled underfoot and Jesus begins to speak to his disciples!?  That seems a very odd response to an apparently extreme situation. Why isn’t Jesus jumping into the midst of this and setting things straight?

Jesus has just come from a teaching moment with the Pharisees regarding their attachment to the law at the expense of the people.  The laws were intended to secure the Israelites relationship with Yahweh, not bind them to the laws themselves.  We now hear Jesus telling the disciples not to fear the wrath of the Pharisees. “Do not be afraid” he tells them.

In the Psalm we read, “…like the dear that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God.”  In the opening prayer, we pray,awaken in us a longing for true holiness.

There is inner struggle going on, not just physical.  In a world of countless reasons to be fearful, my fears cling like shadows to my shoulders and my longings are as fragile as spring’s seedlings.  And Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.” 

How is Jesus speaking these words to me?  “Do not be afraid.” Is Jesus desperately pleading with me, calmly cautioning me, forcefully encouraging me, or gently inviting me?  As I say the words out loud what do I hear, what is the voice that comes from the wisdom of my own body?  I must name my fears and honor and nurture my longings. 

And Jesus says: Do not be afraid…. Do not be afraid ….  (my name).... Do not be afraid.


By Joan Blandin Howard

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *


"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)



"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)



"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)



"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)



"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)